Oregon Ducks: Ayele Forde

Oregon RBs preview 

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
2:55
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De'Anthony ThomasEzra Shaw/Getty ImagesDe'Anthoy Thomas was the only player in the country with more than 400 yards rushing, receiving and returning last season.
Very few programs in the country can lose someone like LaMichael James and hope to simply replace him with a similar talent. One of the biggest ways to be a true power program in college football is the ability to do just that.

The Ducks hope to prove themselves this year as they have a talented group of backs who should continue the dominant Oregon running game.

With James' departure, senior Kenjon Barner finally has the chance to be the go-to back for the high-flying Ducks. Being the go-to back means little in Chip Kelly's system, as Barner knows very well.
Kenjon BarnerHarry How/Getty ImagesWith LaMichael James now in the NFL, senior running back Kenjon Barner is now thrust into the spotlight as Oregon's go-to guy in the backfield.
In addition to the Ducks' loss at home to USC last season, there are a couple other reasons many believe Oregon's time at the top of the Pac-12 has come to an end. The loss of the most successful quarterback in program history will set the Ducks back, but some point to the loss of LaMichael James as the main reason for a potential step back.

When James was in Eugene, he was perhaps the most explosive player in program history. He might have been the most explosive player in the country as well. Then, along came De'Anthony Thomas, who will help take his place in 2012. As a freshman in 2011, Thomas instantly became the most explosive player on the Ducks and, arguably, in the country.

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