The Oregon defense returns all but one of its backfield starters, and the cornerback two-deep will likely include four sophomores. After being thrust into prominent roles as freshmen for Nick Aliotti's 2011 defense, the year of seasoning and knowledge of the system has the defensive coordinator excited about their prospects.
Terrance Mitchell 6-foot 189-pounds, Sacramento, California
Troy Hill 5-foot-11 165-pounds, Ventura, California
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 5-foot-10 182-pounds, Chino Hills, California
Dior Mathis 5-foot-9 174-pounds, Detroit, Michigan
Duck Sports Authority caught up with Coach Aliotti after the Duck's second spring practice to get his thoughts on some of the sophomores.
"Knowledge of the defense has definitely been stepped up by all those guys," said Aliotti of his sophomore cornerback group. "By them knowing more they've obviously improved to some degree after two days. You're always a little rusty on Day One."
The 20-year coaching veteran was pleased with the progress of his group between the first two spring sessions.
"I thought we made a quantum leap from Day One to Day Two in our practice," assessed Aliotti. "You know how sometimes you go Day One you're here and maybe you go up a little bit. I thought we made a big leap today across the board. I was excited about that."