Oregon Ducks

Doug Brenner and his Rhabdomyolysis: Why he's suing Willie Taggart and the University of Oregon

Doug Brenner and his Rhabdomyolysis: Why he's suing Willie Taggart and the University of Oregon

Wednesday, former Oregon football player Doug Brenner filed a suit against the NCAA, former Oregon football coach Willie Taggart, strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde, and the University of Oregon for injuries sustained during workouts in January, 2017, shortly after Taggart was hired.

Brenner is seeking $11.5 million in damages.

"I would ask you, how much is your health and your body worth?" Brenner asked in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Northwest. "My health and my body will be impacted by this for the rest of my life. My kidneys will never be the same."

Why take legal action now? I had the opportunity to sit down with Brenner and ask him some important questions on the forefront of this lawsuit.

Brenner detailed that his health issues led him to the doctor a few months ago, when he learned the severity of his kidney damage through a nuclear renal scan. The statute of limitations in Oregon for personal injury and medical malpractice claims is two years; since the workouts ensued in January of 2017, this month is the end of his window. 

The former offensive lineman was one of three players hospitalized as a result of the workouts, each suffering from rhabdomyolysis.  This is a condition where the body “eats its own muscles,” creating toxic elements which go through the body causing damage.

Rhabdomyolysis in athletes is a preventable and potentially fatal condition.

What does rhabdomyolysis feel like? What does he remember about those drills? Was he properly hydrated?  What NCAA changes does he hope will ensue as apart of this lawsuit? And maybe the biggest question, did Taggart lack control or ignore blatant red flags?

"Oh absolutely (he lacked control)," Brenner said. "That's why I am pursuing this. I want to prevent this from happening to future players. The NCAA has guidelines in place to avoid things liek this from happening but they aren't enforcing it and every year tons of kids across the country are being hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis."

According to the 18-page suit filed in Multnomah County circuit court, the permanent damage to Brenner's kidneys reduced his life expectancy by about 10 years.  

[FROM 2017: Willie Taggart starts his tenure at UO with the wrong kind of publicity]

In the interview, Brenner illustrates the January workouts. He details that the UO medical staff acknowledged that the workout went beyond the student athletes’ natural limits after the first day and on the second day, brought in oxygen tanks on to go along with the trash cans, for vomiting, that lined the workout room.

“Oderinde not only was willing to put student athletes through nonevidence-based physical punishment regimens, but also did not carry industry required certification to be a strength and conditioning coach,” the suit claims.

It also states that Taggart told players when he was hired that he and the new coaches were going to focus on discipline in strength and conditioning and they were "going to find the snakes in the grass and cut their heads off."

[WATCH FROM 2017: Taggart and his staff off to a rough start]

Taggart brought with Oderinde to Oregon from South Florida and currently still retains him on staff at Florida State. Oderinde was suspended without pay for a month by Oregon after the players were hospitalized and Taggart issued an apology.

After hospitalization, Brenner returned to the team to play in 2017. Brenner's senior season ended after he had hip surgery in October 2017 after he played seven games for the Ducks.

"I'm a proud Duck and I loved my time playing football at Oregon," Brenner said. "It was a tough choice to do this."

Sam Poutasi, another offensive lineman, is now also suing. 

Cam McCormick, the third Duck hospitalized, has opted against suing

"I respect my teammates immensely and their very difficult decision to take that path," McCormick said. "I look forward to putting this unfortunate situation in the past, and moving ahead."

Watch the video interview above to hear from Doug Brenner in his own words. 

Justin Timberlake rocks Oregon Ducks shoes for concert in Portland

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98.7 the bull

Justin Timberlake rocks Oregon Ducks shoes for concert in Portland

Justin Timberlake returned to Portland for the first time in four years and he performed in Oregon Ducks sneakers. Timberlake wore the Oregon Air Jordan 3 TH during his 'Man of the Woods' tour to the Moda Center in Portland on Monday night.

Timberlake also worked with Nike designer Tinker Hatfield on a limited-edition Air Jordan III JTH collection for his tour

Beavers sweep Ducks as time winds down for Oregon basketball

Beavers sweep Ducks as time winds down for Oregon basketball

There wasn’t a fan in orange and black without a smile after Oregon State beat rival Oregon, 72-57, in front of a sold out, frenzied 9,301 crowd and improved to second in the Pac-12 Conference.

Following the Beavers’ first Civil War sweep since the 2009-10 season, OSU players hooted in the locker room and fifth year coach Wayne Tinkle walked down the hallway of Gill Coliseum high-fiving everyone in sight.

There was no high fives on other side of hallway as the Ducks (15-10) fell to 6-6 in conference play.

Oregon coach Dana Altman and redshirt senior Paul White spoke to the media with heads bowed, laying out all the reasons why the Ducks’ didn’t find success. To name a few; committing 18 turnovers, allowing OSU(16-8, 8-4 Pac-12) to shoot 49 percent and a 9-0 run to open the second half.

In a game where long scoring droughts plagued the Ducks, White pointed to his team’s concentration and motivation.

“We lost this game because we lost focus,” White, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds, said. “First half we did a good job. The second half we gave them too many easy baskets and it bit us in the butt."

The loss was freshman Louis King’s first, and possibly last, game in Corvallis. King finished 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, with 20 points and added a team-high eight rebounds.

Oregon desperately needed more production from junior Payton Pritchard and sophomore Kenny Wooten. Coming off of back-to-back 20 point games, against the Beavers, Pritchard shot just four times and scored only four points.

“We didn’t get him enough shots and that’s my fault," Altman said of UO’s point guard. "We need to get him more shots. He’s got to shoot the ball more than four times, and that’s my fault. That’s poor coaching."

Wooten, who battled an illness this week, was a non-factor, scoring four points with two rebounds and zero blocks.

Time is running low for the Ducks and so are their chances at making the NCAA Tournament. Oregon has yet to find a formula to win on the road and four of its final six games are away games, starting on Thursday at USC.

The loss hurt Oregon’s standings in the Pac-12, pushing the Ducks further away from securing a top four spot, which provides a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Like White, Altman also attributes Oregon’s inconsistency to its motivation. "I think we are talented enough (to win the Pac-12 Tournament) but we need to be much more disciplined," Altman said.

The more focused team won the Civil War series, but Oregon’s next six games and beyond are still up for grabs.

What won the game for Oregon didn’t show up on the stat line

What won the game for Oregon didn’t show up on the stat line

The first chapter of the women’s Civil War was everything and more for the basketball fan: Two top-10 teams battling it out in front of a sellout 12,364 crowd at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon. No. 3 vs. No. 9 ranked in the nation but also the top teams leading the way in the Pac-12 conference.  

While the box score shows a dominant Ducks performance from the trifecta scoring trio of Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, and Satou Sabally (scored 68 of the Ducks’ 77 total points), this game came down to defense and specifically that of Maite Cazorla.

One of two seniors on this Oregon squad, Cazorla has seen the works at Oregon. From her freshman year getting blown out in the Civil War in front of 900 fans and probably not sporting LeBron’s latest shoe, to four years later as the No. 3 ranked team in the country, in front of a sellout crowd, and the culture surround women’s basketball in Eugene exploding. Cazorla’s work has not gone unnoticed.

Chapter one of Civil War weekend didn’t go as she planned as her stat on Friday night line wasn’t impressive: finishing with just two points, three assists, and one rebound. She did not make a shot from the field and her two points came off free throws. Cazorla has been averaging 10.0 points and 4.9 assists per game this season.

But what doesn’t show up on the stat line is what won the game for Oregon: her defense and particularly on Oregon State star guard Destiny Slocum. Late in the game, Oregon State zeroed in on the Ducks’ lead to within four points with just over five minutes to go. This was Destiny Slocum time.

However, Cazorla was the obstacle Slocum could not get around. It was if Cazorla was in her mind, knowing exactly what her next move would be before she did. Every time Slocum made a shifty move to the hoop, Cazorla was there.

“Maite’s defense in that second half basically won us the game,” says Ionescu following the game. “She took Slocum completely out of what she did and Slocum is one of the best and quickest point guards in the country.” 

Slocum’s last basket came at with 5:20 left to play. She wouldn’t score from the field again. Just four free throws. But at that point, it was too late. The Ducks took chapter one of the Civil War with a 77-68 victory at home over Oregon State.

This wasn’t the first time Cazorla bodied up against Slocum either. Slocum began her collegiate career at the University of Maryland where they met the Ducks in the regional championship of the NCAA tournament. Oregon went on to beat Maryland 77-63, but little did they know that they would run into the speedy Slocum once more, this time in conference play two years later. 

Cazorla rose to the challenge once again. And she will have to do so again in just three days when Oregon faces Oregon State in chapter two of this Civil War weekend on Monday night, this time in Beaver territory. 

Rapid Reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Oregon’s Civil War victory over Oregon State

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NBCSNW

Rapid Reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Oregon’s Civil War victory over Oregon State

Two top-10 teams; leaders of the Pac-12 conference; sellout crowd of over 12,000 fans at Matthew Knight Arena. This was gearing up for a Civil War of the ages and it did not disappoint. 

It was close until the clock hit 00:00. Each team following the other with a run of their own. 

But in the end, it was all Ducks. The trifecta of Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, and Satou Sabally combined for 68 of the Ducks’ 77 total points and shot 53% from behind the arc as a team. No. 3 Oregon (24-1, 13-0 Pac-12) defeats No. 9 in-state rival Oregon State (20-5, 10-3 Pac-12) 77-68 in round one of Civil War weekend.

Here are some quick thoughts from Ashley Young, our reporter on site:

1. The battle down low: The impact Oregon State forward Joanna Grymek had on Ruthy Hebard was night and day. When Grymek was in, Hebard had trouble scoring down low. But with Grymek out, Hebard went back to her old ways of high percentage, one-dribble to the right, down low shots. Even with Hebard’s 21 points, the Beavers won the battle down low scoring 36 of their 68 total points in the paint.

2. Three-point percentage: Both Oregon and Oregon State lead the nation at three-point percentage, so whichever team could hit more three’s would build a nice lead. For Oregon, this is where Satou Sabally shined. The sophomore is Oregon’s leading scorer mostly due to her impact from three-point range. Sabally finished with 18 points, hitting five-of-seven from deep.

3. Pick-n-roll game: Ionescu and Hebard are two of the best in the country at the pick-n-roll. With under seven minutes to go and a six to ten point lead, the Ducks went with their bread and butter with the pick and roll game. The two are comfortable with one another and is almost impossible to stop. With Maite Cazorla and Erin Boley struggling on the offensive side of the ball, Ionescu and Hebard had to step up and be efficient. Hebard had two layups off the pick-n-roll while Ionescu sunk three jump shots. 

Round two of the Civil War continues on Monday in Corvallis, Oregon. Tipoff set for 6 PM (PT).

JUST IN: Oregon lands top grad transfer WR, Juwan Johnson

JUST IN: Oregon lands top grad transfer WR, Juwan Johnson

Penn State grad transfer Juwan Johnson is headed to Eugene.

The 6-foot-4, 231 pound veteran receiver, who announced plans to become a graduate transfer in January, committed to Oregon and will soon be receiving catches from Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert.

Johnson shared news of his commitment via social media on Thursday.

In his four years with Penn State, Johnson caught 81 passes for 1,123 yards and two touchdowns. He saw a dip in his production during his junior campaign, notching 25 catches for 352 yards and one touchdown.

Out of high school, he was a U.S. Army All-American and ranked No. 12 nationally, choosing Penn State over offers from Alabama, Ohio State and others.

While Oregon coach Mario Cristobal was at Alabama, he developed a relationship with Johnson during his recruitment and that connection likely carried into early February, when Johnson took his official visit to Oregon.

Johnson’s decision to join UO likely came to fruition due to Ducks need at the receiver group and Oregon football's optimism heading into the 2019 season. Dillion Mitchell, Herbert’s No. 1 target, announced in January he will not return to Oregon and will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.

UO’s second returning receiver, sophomore Jaylen Redd, had less than half of Mitchell’s receptions and yards with 31 catches for 368 yards. No returning Oregon receiver had more than three catches or 35 yards per game last season.

Johnson will be able to make an impact immediately and provides Oregon with a veteran presence to join incoming freshmen Josh Delgado, Mycah Pittman, Lance Willhoite and J.R. Waters alongside Redd, Johnny Johnson III, Brendan Schooler, Bryan Addison and others.

Leavitt didn’t fit Cristobal’s vision; A decade in the making

Leavitt didn’t fit Cristobal’s vision; A decade in the making

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt are parting ways. I’ve heard the same thing over and over from people inside the Oregon football program… Leavitt was simply "not in Cristobal’s vision".

Have you heard about Leavitt and Cristobal’s rocky start? Their relationship started with a phone call over a decade ago, that I would consider perfect foreshadowing.

Before we get to the beginning, let’s look at the end. You could point to he sticky situation when former Oregon coach Willie Taggart left for Florida State and both vyed for the open position.  Despite Leavitt’s stronger resume, Oregon promoted Cristobal to head coach. Keep in mind, Cristobal had the recruiting prowess, the vision of “Oregon Football 2.0” and a petition with his players signatures lobbying for him to be their new coach.

After his promotion, Cristobal confronted Leavitt about the awkward situation and the two headstrong coaches put aside their personal ambitions for a season. Let’s be honest though, the lure of Oregon’s $600,000 raise probably swayed Leavitt’s decision to stay.

Whether it be that raise or the promotion, there was a tangible imbalance of power. The salaries were not typical; Leavitt earned the sixth most by a coordinator in the nation and only $800,000 less annually than Cristobal. After Leavitt successfully stabilized the Duck defense, improving Oregon's 126th ranked defense in 2016 to 28th in 2017, he took ownership and made it known Cristobal should stick to offense.

My fellow reporter Aaron Fentress said it best, “bottom line is, there was just too much friction between Cristobal and Leavitt.”

Leavitt and Cristobal, according to Fentress, nearly came to blows during a practice in 2017.

The tension has been around for longer than a decade, starting with a phone fight from 2007, detailed by Cristobal during a one-on-one interview with Fentress last year. 

Their relationship started when Florida International University, where Cristobal was head coach from 2007-12, was preparing for their upcoming game against University of South Florida. The FIU program was only three years old, and Cristobal needed to scout USF, so he called them to ask for game film (colleges must share game film with each other). At the time, USF had played two games that season, and FIU had played one game.

Cristobal requested the game film from both games. Leavitt, USF’s coach at the time, answered the call, declined and arguing ensued. 

Leavitt wanted to only share one game because he was only getting one game of film in return. Cristobal wanted to pick which of the games he received, while Leavitt questioned if he already had the film of the other one (he did). The two coaches went back and forth until Cristobal came to a realization.

“I was like, wow, this is like I’m talking to my dad here.” 

It was just a small confrontation over 10 years ago, but the foreshadowing is ironic.

Now Leavitt and Cristobal are no longer on the same team. 

Cristobal wants his coaches, his recruits, his strength and conditioning program, his offense AND his defense. Oregon football 2.0 is his vision and he’s taken another step to get there.

He made a statement by parting ways with Leavitt. If you aren’t in his vision, you won’t be around for long.

The official release from Oregon states 'a national search for a new UO defensive coordinator is underway.' However, according to sources within NBC Sports NW and multiple reports, Cristobal is expected to promote safeties coach Keith Heyward to defensive coordinator.

Heyward is apparently in Cristobal’s vision. Yes, former Oregon coach Willie Taggart hired Heyward, but Cristobal extended Heyward’s contract in 2017, when Taggart left. Cristobal called the defensive backs coach a “rising star” and according to Fentress, Heyward and Taggart were the coaches behind Oregon's defense that shut down Arizona and quarterback Khalil Tate in 2017. Then, entering the 2018 season, Cristobal added co-defensive coordinator duties to Heyward’s role.  

With the highest ever recruiting class coming to Eugene and his staff in place, the 2019 Oregon football season is all on Cristobal, top to bottom. 

Jim Leavitt's departure is addition by subtraction of a distraction for the Oregon Ducks

Jim Leavitt's departure is addition by subtraction of a distraction for the Oregon Ducks

We are two seasons removed from the firing of a legacy staff and save for one strong recruiting class. It's safe to say that the last two years have been rocky off the field more so than on. 

The departure of defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, first reported by 247 Sports and verified by sources to NBC Sports Northwest, is the latest chapter in a rather dysfunctional tale of a seemingly unstable program. 

Maybe now things will settle down without Leavitt, who was ridiculously celebrated as the second coming of Buddy Ryan or when Oregon hired him in 2017, and, according to sources, has never gotten along with coach Mario Cristobal, leading to endless friction since the two joined Oregon's staff under former coach Willie Taggart. 

Let's be frank about this. Nothing has ever been copacetic between Cristobal and Leavitt. Anyone out there that believed the new staff sat around the camp fire singing "kumbaya my lord" was living in fantasy land.

Leavitt and Cristobal, according to sources, nearly cam to blows during a practice in 2017. When Taggart left the the program that December for Florida State, Leavitt lobbied hard for the interim and permanent head coaching position leading up to the Las Vegas Bowl, and lost out to Cristobal. An angry Leavitt looked to leave Oregon for a program willing to pay him the $1.15 million per year that the Ducks had coughed up for his services. Reports surfaced that Taggart had offered him $2 million to follow him to Florida State, but those were false.

When Leavitt, who according to sources will be replaced by defensive backs coach Keith Heyward, elected to remain at Oregon, it publicly appeared that he truly wanted to be with the Ducks and most of the public lapped up that storyline, which was being fueled by the 62-year-old coach's always-lively Twitter feed. 

But the truth is that Leavitt stayed because Oregon foolishly tossed an additional $600 K his way to raise his salary to $1.7 million in 2018, compared to the $2.5 million that Cristobal received. The raise smacked of desperation for a program that saw the defense take a dive in 2015 and 2016 only to witness Leavitt bring it back to life in 2017, and had just lost Taggart. 

The goal was to keep as much of the staff together as possible and that meant raises. 

However, Leavitt has never in his life proven himself to be a defensive coordinator worthy of that kind of money. He had only been the lone defensive coordinator at the major college level once before and that was at Colorado, where he helped a young defense in 2015 grow into a great, senior-dominated defense in 2016. That convinced Oregon to throw big money at Leavitt while ignoring the fact that the Ducks that year had put up 508 yards on the Buffaloes in a 40-34 loss at home while without running back Royce Freeman, offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby and wide receiver Devon Allen, and with solid, but not great, Dakota Prukop at quarterback. 

Regardless, Leavitt did have a good season with Oregon in 2017 but he also did benefit from taking over a unit that had lost just one impact senior from the previous season. It only stood to reason that the defense would improve, and it did, greatly, jumping from 128th in the nation to 28th. 

But in 2018, with most of that defense returning, Oregon regressed to 55th in the nation. That wasn't the type of production that Oregon had paid $1.7 million to receive. 

Furthermore, the friction between Cristobal and Leavitt never waned. Leavitt expected and got autonomy on defense and still harbored a grudge for being passed over for the head coaching position. In many ways, Leavitt had a right to be bitter. He had been a wildly successful head coach at South Florida from 1997 through 2009, posting a record of 95-57 while helping the Bulls make the move to the FBS level. There, Leavitt won three bowl games in five seasons while the program was a member of the Big East Conference. 

Cristobal had been a head coach once before at Florida International where he had an unimpressive record of 36-52, albeit under very trying circumstances. 

What truly gave Cristobal the edge over Leavitt was his amazing recruiting ability, which just helped the Ducks land its highest-rated recruiting class ever at No. 7 on Rivals.com, and that he had never been accused of striking a player, an accusation that Leavitt has denied but ultimately ended his run at South Florida and has haunted his career. 

So, with Leavitt's bitterness and the obvious friction between two alpha dog coaches, it only stood to reason that this situation would prove to be untenable and eventually erode. Plus, while Leavitt is a very good defensive coordinator, he is not the mythical figure he has been made out to be since he arrived in Eugene. 

For example: According to sources, Heyward and Taggart were the men behind Oregon's defense that shut down Arizona and quarterback Khalil Tate in 2017. Tate had been ripping up the Pac-12 by gaining 1,207 rushing yards over his first six conference starts before the Ducks held him to 32 in a 48-28 UO victory at home. 

So, it could very well be that the defense will be in great hands under Heyward, however this will be his first run at being a defensive coordinator. Could there be growing pains? Possibly. And if so, how long of a leach will Heyward be given to work through his inexperience in this role?

Since the firing of Mark Helfrich in 2016, Oregon hasn't experienced much in the way of stability or consistency, and there has been plenty of controversy.

  • Assistant coach David Reaves was arrested for DUII and fired in early 2017. 
  • A second assistant coach, Jimmie Dougherty, who was riding with Reaves also was fired. 
  • Players were hospitalized following excessive workouts in 2017. Two of the players, Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi, are suing Taggart, the NCAA and Oregon. 
  • Taggart left after one season causing Oregon's 2018 recruiting class to fall from No. 1 to No. 18. 
  • Leavitt leaves team after two seasons. 

 

The good news is that the Ducks won a bowl game last season, did land a very strong recruiting class in 2019 and quarterback Justin Herbert elected to return for his senior season. 

And now, Cristobal will have a staff that is made up only of men he hired or wanted to retain. For the first time, it can truly be said that this is Cristobal's program from top to bottom. 

But what happens after Herbert is gone after next season? He, like Leavitt, regressed statistically last season, inexplicable for a junior quarterback with first-round NFL talent. That's a bad sign for the future of the offense beyond Herbert and the future of the defense is in flux with a new coordinator. 

One thing for sure is the past two years for the Ducks' football program have been anything but dull and the next couple of years promise to be equally as intriguing. 

Next man up? With Jim Leavitt out, who will run Oregon's defense

Next man up? With Jim Leavitt out, who will run Oregon's defense

Oregon is parting ways with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. All Pepsi jokes aside, Leavitt stabilized the Ducks’ defense over the past two seasons, helping improve Oregon's 126th ranked defense in 2016 to 67th in the nation in 2018.

As the sixth-highest paid assistant in the nation, Leavitt was earning $1.7 million annually and under contract for two more years. The amount for his remaining buyout would have been $3.4 million, less anything he earns in the next two years.

The athletic department announced Thursday the “mutually reached agreement to part ways” will be funded from private sources over multiple years. Oregon will pay him a maximum amount of $2.5 million, subject to reduction based on future employment.

This news begs the question, with star linebacker Troy Dye returning to lead the 2019 defense and the some of the nation’s top talent signing with Oregon, including incoming freshmen defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who will be in charge of Oregon’s defense?

The official release from Oregon states 'a national search for a new UO defensive coordinator is underway'. However according to sources within NBC Sports NW and multiple reports, Cristobal is expected to promote safeties coach Keith Heyward to defensive coordinator. Heyward was hired as the Ducks’ safeties coach in January 2017. Here is what you need to know about the Oregon State alumnus:

Entering the 2018 season, Cristobal added co-defensive coordinator duties to his role and earns $450,000 annually at Oregon.

“Keith is a rising star in this industry and played an instrumental role in our remarkable improvement defensively across all metrics,” Mario Cristobal said after extending Heyward’s contract in 2017 after former head coach Willie Taggart departed for Florida State. “We look forward to his continued impact in the development of our players.”

Prior to Oregon, he was the secondary coach at Louisville in 2016. In one season as Louisville’s defensive backs coach the Cardinals racked up 15 interceptions.

Heyward is a veteran of the Pac-12 Conference as both coach and player. The leader of the Oregon safeties room has coached defensive backs at four different Pac-12 schools (Oregon, Washington, USC, Oregon State) and was an All-Pac-10 cornerback at Oregon State, ending his career with 35 consecutive starts.

While coaching defensive backs at USC in 2014-15, he also served as passing game coordinator. He helped the Trojans to the Pac-12 Championship game and a trip to the Holiday Bowl in 2015.

Can he help Oregon win its first Pac-12 title since 2014?

The defense loses key components including safety Ugo Amadi, linebacker Justin Hollins and defensive end Jalen Jelks. However, after starting six sophomores in 2018, the 2019 defense could make an improvement. Not to be overlooked, the Ducks add Thibodeaux and linebacker Mase Funa, who could make an impact right away.

By the way, don’t worry about Thibodeaux transferring away from Oregon. The nation’s No. 1 recruit tweeted this after the Leavitt news broke.

Here are more reactions from the Duck defense.

Players reactions: Ducks defense is shook over Leavitt news

Players reactions: Ducks defense is shook over Leavitt news

If you are shocked to hear that defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and Oregon are parting ways, you aren't alone.

In the few minutes since the story broke, many Oregon defensive players took to Twitter to share their reactions about Leavitt leaving, one can assume. It appears the Ducks were not aware that Leavitt would not be back for a third season. Very notable is linebacker Troy Dye's response, who made the decision to forgo the 2019 NFL Draft to return for his senior season. Also, is the nation's No. 1 recruit, Kayvon Thibodeaux, HAPPY that Leavitt is gone? The good news is he does not plan on transferring. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little background on Leavitt: Leavitt is the highest paid coordinator in the Pac-12 conference. Over the span of two years as Oregon's defensive coordinator, he has improved the Ducks' 126th ranked defense in 2016 to 67th in 2018 in the nation. Oregon's scoring defense has also improved from 41.4 points per game to 28 points per game.