By Ray Hamill — The Oregon Ducks are going to be the best in the country in one particular key area this fall, according to ESPN.
The media outlet recently released its picks for the best offensive line in the nation heading into the new college football season, with former Eureka standout Jacob Hanson and the Oregon Ducks leading the way.
Hanson, a 2015 Eureka High graduate, has impressed in his first three seasons with the Ducks, and will return as a starter for the fourth straight year in 2019.
And he’s not alone.
The Ducks return all five starters along the line from a year ago, all of whom have plenty of experience.
“To say that the Ducks’ offensive line has experience may be a bit of an understatement for 2019,” said the ESPN story, written by Phil Steele. “Their 153 career starts returning are the most in the FBS since SMU had 158 starts in 2011.”
Steele expects the Ducks to be better in 2019 after their stats dropped a year ago, and includes four of the five starters on his preseason All-Pac-12 team.
“After their rushing output dipped down to 179 yards per game a year ago with 22 sacks allowed, expect the numbers to improve this year,” he wrote.
Hanson, a red-shirt senior, will start at center for Oregon, alongside seniors Shane Lemieux, Dallas Warmack and Calvin Throckmorton, and sophomore left tackle Penei Sewell.
Hanson, who has started 38 of 39 games since his freshman year, was named to the Associated Press All-Pac-12 second team as a junior.
The former Loggers captain has also received Pac-12 all-academic honors in all three years competing for the Ducks.
Oregon is ranked No. 11 in the preseason AP poll, and opens against no. 16 Auburn in Texas on August 31 in one of the most anticipated matchups of the opening weekend.