Dallas Warmack: Achieving on and off the field
Dallas Warmack did something very difficult on Saturday against the Washington Huskies. The Oregon senior offensive guard earned the highest game grade on the team per our partners at Pro Football Focus, beating even sophomore tackle Penei Sewell who for his part was named to PFF’s national team of the week.
“I did feel I had a good game last game,” agreed Warmack. “It just goes to preparation, film study and Coach Mirabal and Coach Cristobal teaching us every day. I have got to uphold the standard for the O-line here. We have great guys like Shane (Lemieux) and Throck (Calvin Throckmorton), Jake (Hanson) and of course Penei (Sewell). So, we’re just working hard every day.”
Watching the 6-foot-2, 310-pound Atlanta native work with his mates against the Huskies, you would think the four seniors and Sewell had been playing together forever. But Warmack arrived at Oregon as a graduate transfer from Alabama prior to the 2018 season, then earned a starting spot his first fall camp in Eugene.
Head Coach Mario Cristobal put that achievement into perspective.
“There were some pretty impressive veterans sitting here, right,” said Cristobal. “To be a grad transfer and come in and fit right in with the guys like he did, that speaks volumes right there because the culture has been established as being real strong, especially up front, and he fit in perfectly, along with the big guy on the left side. So, Dallas is invaluable to this program.”
“It was a great decision,” Warmack said of his transfer. “I knew what I was coming into; a hard-working group of guys coached by Coach Cristobal and Coach Mirabal. I looked up everybody before I got here and I’m just happy to be part of this great O-line and to grow as a person and football player every day.”
Seven games into the season, the Oregon offensive line has proven itself to be among the best in the nation. In 2018, Warmack and freshman Penei Sewell were the major additions to the existing three offensive linemen, who had started together for the prior two seasons. Those last two pieces of the puzzle have been key to this team’s success. And it is likely the Ducks’ second-year head coach is the only person who could have brought both players to Oregon.
“I’ve known Dallas for a long, long time,” said Cristobal. “I used to pop in and see him in high school when he was a sophomore all the time at the other place I was at. Very familiar with him.”
“I met Coach Cristobal when I was 14 or 15-years old,” recalled Warmack. “He used to pop around my high school, we had a lot of coaches come by.
“But Coach Cristobal always stuck out to me, always an honest guy. He just kept it 100 with me and I appreciated it through all my years.
“I’m 22 now and I still look at him the same; the greatest guy ever. I appreciate everything Coach Cristobal has done for me.”
This, however, is not a tale of unrequited love.
“There’s a lot to Dallas Warmack. A lot,” said Cristobal. “As much as he has developed to be a really good football player, and the sky’s the limit for him. To me, he’s just getting started. I mean, I still see him as such a young guy because I remember him just being such a young high school player.”
That teenager Coach met eight years ago has turned into quite an impressive man.
“He brings so much more to the table as a human being, as a teammate, as a leader,” said Cristobal. “He has a tremendous calming effect, he’s a great mentor to young guys.”
“A couple guys here look up to me,” conceded Warmack. “It is my role I have to lead by example. Me being on time every day and film study, just working hard every day, it’s showing up on the field and also here, off the field. I’m Just happy to be a part of it.
“Eugene is a special place. You see that every day with the guys that are here. There is something special going on. You see with the record right now we are building something that is going to last a long time.”