Since the minute linebacker Troy Dye arrived in Eugene, Oregon, he’s disrupted backfields and locked down in coverage but has his reign of terror on Pac-12 offenses come to an end?
Dye has a major decision to make and a looming Jan. 14 deadline; forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL draft or return for his senior season at Oregon?
“He’s a great linebacker. We haven’t had a linebacker like him in awhile,” senior defensive end Jalen Jelks said. “When he doesn’t make a play, he thinks about it the rest of the game and then gets after it more… It’s intense.”
Dye’s domination as a Duck etched him into the history books; the junior is the 15th player in program history to reach 300 career tackles, earning the Oregon defensive player of the year honor as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
But will Oregon’s leading tackler for three-straight seasons play his last game in a Duck uniform in the Redbox Bowl on December 31st?
Dye has not indicated his plans for the 2019 season, yet. Although, he did send this tweet after the Ducks landed the top rated high school player in the country, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Guess I have to re-evaluate now🧐🤷🏽♂️🤫— Troy Dye (@Tdye15dbTroy) December 15, 2018
So, does that indicate Dye was planning on going to the NFL before the Ducks beat out Alabama, Florida State and Florida to win the Thibodeaux lottery?
Adding the 6'5'' 235-pound elite pass rusher with scary speed and agility to the Oregon roster certainly didn’t hurt the Ducks’ chances at getting Dye back for another season.
UO coach Mario Cristobal told Dye to lay off the cryptic tweets, but plans on sitting down with him and his family to help discuss the benefits and disadvantages of waiting or declaring for the NFL this season.
“I think everybody has a decision to make and some make more sense than others and the facts will certainly at least points you in the right direction,” Cristobal said.
Oregon requested scouting reports from the NFL advisory committee for a number of draft eligible juniors including: quarterback Justin Herbert, wide receiver Dillon Mitchell and Dye. Herbert elected to stay for his senior season and Mitchell is headed to the NFL.
“Troy is special because he can do more than just make tackles,” nose tackle Jordon Scott said. “He can cover, he can rush the passer, he can fill a gap… Overall, he has control of our defense and that’s one thing that is intangible."
The concerns around Dye revolve around his thin, tall frame. At 6-foot-3, 224-pounds, Scouts call out his build and worry that he’ll get shoved around against NFL blockers.
Draft network named Dye as one of the top five draft eligible Pac-12 players that would benefit by playing another year at the college level and bulking up in the weight room.
Dye’s draft projection ranges from as high as the fourth round to undrafted.
A promising NFL talent and a proven college star, Dye has 10 days to decide if he will continue to pester Pac-12 backfields for another season or not.