It has been an up-and-down week for Oregon and its efforts to reinforce its offensive line. With seniors Nick Cody, Ryan Clanton and Carson York finishing their careers after the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Ducks have been planning to add three or four offensive linemen to their 2013 recruiting class.
The Ducks and their fans had been awaiting word on the status of standout senior OL Kyle Long's appeal for an extra year of eligibility. After the NCAA declined Long's appeal this week, the Ducks know what they are faced with. It now appears the Ducks will look to add a fourth lineman to offset the loss of Long.
The Ducks will return three starters along the line -- Hroniss Grasu, Jake Fisher and Tyler Johnstone -- and currently have three offensive line commits expected to join the program next summer. The three players -- Evan Voeller (West Linn, Ore./West Linn), Doug Brenner (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) and Jake Pisarcik (Medford, NJ/Shawnee) -- are all likely destined for redshirts once they arrive on campus.
Hamani Stevens, Karrington Armstrong, Mana Greig, Everett Benyard, James Euscher and Andre Yruretagoyena all return with experience and expectations. With the loss of Long, one of the returners will need to step up for the Ducks to maintain what they thought would be one of their biggest strengths in 2013.
The Ducks are still pursuing some of Southern California's top offensive linemen and could begin to search for a junior-college lineman if they are unable to sign USC commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), J.D. Hinnant (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley) or Thomas Oser (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake).