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Oregon Football

Cyrus Habibi-Likio enters transfer portal

January 23, 2021

Coaches and players move around every offseason. Just yesterday, Mario Cristobal found his new defensive coordinator by bringing in one of the conference’s best in Cal’s Jim DeRuyter. There’s more movement within the Oregon program, as running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio announced he has entered the transfer portal.

He shared the news on Twitter. 


Habibi-Likio, who came to be called “CHL” by Duck fans, spent most of his days in Eugene serving as the team’s No. 3 running back, coming in to spell CJ Verdell and Travis Dye. He had his most productive season in 2019, when former offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo called his number at the goal line and in short-yardage situations. 

That season he scored 10 touchdowns on just 85 carries, but he was even more efficient in 2018, when he scored seven touchdowns on 14 carries. That clip made him one of the most efficient runners in the country.

He had his breakout game in Seattle against the rival Huskies in 2019. 

With the Ducks trailing by 14 in the third quarter, his touchdown run helped spark the offense in a comeback win that won’t soon be forgotten. He ran with everything he had each time he touched the ball, leaving his mark on the Oregon program by breaking tackles and hurdling defenders along the way. 

Habibi-Likio finishes his career at Oregon with 409 rushing yards on 122 carries, scoring 21 touchdowns in three seasons. His decision to transfer makes him the fourth Oregon player to depart the program this offseason, joining running back Jayvaun Wilson (UNLV), cornerback Daewood Davis (Western Kentucky), and linebacker MJ Cunningham (undecided).  

A three-star recruit out of the Bay Area, he also held offers from Boise State, Cal, UNLV and USC. It could make sense for former Duck staffers Andy Avalos (Boise State) and Marcus Arroyo (UNLV) to make a run at him. 

His departure frees up snaps in a crowded backfield. With CJ Verdell announcing his return for a fifth season, Joe Moorhead’s offense will have a very capable group of rushers including Travis Dye and Sean Dollars. The staff has also raved about bruising back Trey Benson, who will be joined by 2021 Oregon signee Seven McGee, one of the top all-purpose backs in the country. 

That all goes without saying the Ducks are in prime position to land 4-star running back Byron Cardwell, who will announce his college decision on Monday. All signs point to another loaded backfield in 2021. Jim Mastro will again be tasked with distributing carries among the many capable options. 

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