Oregon Football

Breakout Candidates: No. 14

July 11, 2019

If you missed it yesterday we started a new series of breakout candidates. Counting down from No. 15 to No. 1 over the course of the next couple of weeks.

The debut of this list at No. 15 was 2019 defensive line signee Brandon Dorlus. Also if you read THE JUICE on Wednesday night I included some additional intel on Dorlus and his progress thus far.

Today we stick with defense and another 2019 signee. This time it’s linebacker Dru Mathis. Now Mathis walks into a bit of a crowded situation but is semi-experienced as a JUCO player. 

If you’ve read the Juice in previous weeks, earlier this Spring we talked about how Mathis has impressed the coaches already with his work ethic. 

Why He’s on the List:

It’s pretty simple. At a very stout 6-foot-3, 240-pounds he has the size to hold down the middle but still has the speed to move laterally. Mathis might not be a day one starter but I could see him carving out a very good role either situationally or just as a first guy off the bench type player. He’s also a near ideal type of special teams player you want out there.

Oregon has been decimated with injuries at linebacker the last few years and no real depth to support it. Should that be a case this season I could see this becoming a chance for Mathis to push into the starting lineup, if he’s not already, and he might not leave.

I don’t want to get carried away with 2019’s and keep in mind this list is a combination of existing and incoming players. For now I’ve got my second 2019 signee on here and I am high on Mathis.

Why Not:

It’s simple, who does he replace? Oregon didn’t lose anyone at linebacker last year so there isn’t a token ‘open spot.’ That doesn’t mean the best player won’t play, it just means he’s got his work cut out for him.

It’s also going to be interesting to see what happens situationally with Oregon’s defense. I’m certain they will run out of both the 3-4 and 4-3, possibly an equal amount of time. Mathis might become a situational guy as I noted above but I would imagine if that’s all he is to the staff, they also might just use a redshirt on him. Just a reminder he can play four games and still redshirt. 

Tags: Football, Oregon
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