We're continuing our Pac-12 triplet rankings with No. 6 Oregon. Here are the parameters: We’ve selected a trio of skill players from each team in the conference.
The rules: Each player comes from a different position group, so the offensive version of this series features a quarterback running back and wide receiver. We then ranked each program’s troika against the others in the Pac-12, and we’ll be unveiling and writing about each in reverse countdown order.
Note: For teams that haven't selected a starter at the quarterback position, you'll notice that we've kept things open-ended with who's competing for the starting job.
Most assumed Prukop would run away with the starting job by the end of the spring, but that wasn’t the case (most likely due to what Jonsen accomplished during the offseason/spring than what Prukop didn’t do). Now, new quarterback coach David Yost is trying to discover what would be less difficult: command of the offense in a game or mastery of the playbook. Prukop has the game experience, but he falls short of Jonsen’s knowledge of how Oregon does what it does. And while Jonsen has the knowledge, he falls short of Prukop as a seasoned QB. Anyone who watched Oregon last season understands how the immense (and almost embarrassing) amount of talent surrounding the quarterback doesn't always matter if he doesn't have mastery of both the game and the playbook. So the Ducks have a lot of questions to answer at this position.
Freeman finished last season as the nation’s fourth-leading rusher with 1,836 yards and tallied the lowest percentage of runs stopped without gain of any top-10 running back in 2016. During his two years with Oregon, Freeman has accounted for 3,201 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns while nearly one-fifth of all his rushes going for at least 10 yards. It has been a fantastic two-year career, and it's possible to expect even bigger things from him during his junior season. With three returning offensive linemen, including both tackles, he’ll be able to add some more of those big gains to his résumé, while hopefully taking some of the pressure off Prukop/Jonsen.
Carrington was a big-play weapon last season, and even though he only played half the number of games as many Pac-12 players, he was still named to the All-Pac-12 second team following his 32-reception, 609-yard season. More impressively, even with that missed time, he showed how steady his hands could be with any quarterback, catching 32 of the 46 passes thrown his way. Coaches hope that his growth continues this year as he focuses on playing a full season of college football and gains chemistry with both Prukop and Jonsen. His athleticism, height (6-foot-2) and hands will make him a huge part of the Oregon offense this season.