Oregon doesn't start fall camp on Aug. 8, so we're trying to kill time with a little prognostication here and there. Today, Bri Amaranthus and Aaron Fentress count down their top three Ducks who must improve if Oregon is going to contend for the Pac-12 title in 2016.
Fentress' pick - Senior linebacker Johnny Ragin III: - Ragin provides some experience within a group loaded with inexperienced returning players. To help Oregon's move to the 4-3, Ragin must provide consistency and leadership.
Quote: "He was taken to media day. He needs to play like a guy taken to media day. Last year, just 20 tackles. He going to need 60 or 70 to have an impact on that defense." '
Amaranthus' Pick - Junior left tackle Tyrell Crosby: - The three-year starter is on the quiet side vocally, but certainly creates noise on the field when he plows into defenders. Oregon could need him to provide leadership after losing seniors Tyler Johnstone and Matt Hegarty.
Quote: "He's got the physical abilities. We saw it last year. He started all 12 games. But he needs to become that emotional leader for the Ducks on the offensive line."
Fentress' pick - Redshirt freshman center Jake Hanson: - Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood praised Hanson's development during spring drills. Problem is, Hanson has never before played center.
Quote: His youth could be a red flag, but "the last redshirt freshman to start for Oregon at center was Hroniss Grasu, who went on to win a couple of Rose Bowls, etc."
Amaranthus' Pick - Senior defensive end Torrodney Prevot: - The former four-star linebacker recruit has had a spotty career to date, now he moves to defensive end, where he could excel as a pass rusher in Oregon's new 4-3 scheme.
Quote: "He moved from linebacker to defensive line during spring ball... He's going to have to put on a lot of weight. He wants to get to 255 pounds."
Fentress' pick - Sophomore defensive lineman Canton Kaumatule: - The former four-star recruit has the talent to become a dominant force but has been limited by injures, including a major concucssion suffered last season.
Quote: "He has been compared to Buckner and Armstead, who are gone. He needs to play like one or both of those guys in order for that front seven to elevate itself after losing six of seven starters."
Amaranthus' Pick - Junior cornerback Arrion Springs: - Springs is ultra talented. Just ask him. But mental lapses and inconsistent play have prevented him from reaching his potential. That must change this season.
Quote: "Definitely talks the talk. We have to see him walk the walk a little bit more."