In recent years, the Pac 12 Conference isn’t exactly known as a league for great defense. Stanford has been the best defensive team over the past few years, but the Washington Huskies were the top defense in the conference last season. That was after losing 3 of their defenders in the 1st round of the previous draft, and another in the 2nd round.
But, at some Pac 12 schools defense is an afterthought.
Oregon has had an amazing offense for quite a while, but their defense has been sub par for a long time as well.
This season, they lost their best defensive player, Deforest Buckner in the 1st round and guys like Buckner are hard to replace.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich hired Brady Hoke this off season to guide his defense and that could be
a step in the right direction.
Hoke was formerly the head coach at Michigan and defense was never a problem for the Wolverines when he was their coach. His offenses were horrible, but his defenses were pretty tough. The guys that Brady Hoke recruited were the ones that new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh fielded last season and they were a top 10 defense.
Can Brady Hoke turn the defenses around at Oregon?
He can if they can recruit the right players and that starts up front with the Defensive Line.
Hoke was a Defensive Line coach in just about all of his years as an assistant coach, but he learned defense from guys like Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison.
Mattison has done it at every level but when he was the Coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens he decided he preferred the college game.
In recent years, the Oregon Ducks have run a 3-4 defense. With Brady Hoke in charge of the defense, they will be switching to a 4-3 base defense. Not that it matters all that much because each defense is good.
Joe Paterno, at Penn State, used to recruit great athletes and generally keep the best for his defenses and Penn State was pretty hard to beat back in his prime. At schools like Oregon it’s just the opposite, most of the time. They recruit more offensive players and great players on that side of the ball are drawn to Oregon because of their offenses.
Nobody that’s really wanting to make a name for himself on defense is really all that into the Oregon Ducks.
But, the Ducks have a promising recruiting class coming in. Their top rated recruit is Quarterback
Terry Wilson and then former Quarterback Tristen Wallace is next.
After that, however, they have a couple of Defensive Ends in Bryson Young and Hunter Kampmoyer. Plus, a couple of good Linebackers in Darrian Franklin and LaMar Winston Jr.
They also signed Junior College Linebacker A.J. Hotchkins and high school Safeties Troy Dye and Brady Breeze. 6-3, 290 Defensive Tackle Wayne Kirby and Outside Linebackers Keith Simms and Eric Briscoe Jr round out a pretty decent defensive class for the Oregon Ducks.
A.J. Hotchkins has already moved into a starting role at Middle Linebacker.
Last year, the Ducks signed 5 star Defensive End, Canton Kaumatule who played a little as a true freshman and he really needs to step up as a starter this year.
They also signed Defensive Tackles Gary Baker, Rex Manu and Drayton Carlberg. Manu really impressed in the Spring Game and Carlberg might play a lot as well.
Manu has a shot at being really good.
At Michigan, Hoke empathized an aggressive defense. If that’s going to work at Oregon, these young defensive linemen are going to have to step up and do it quickly.
It does appear that the Oregon Ducks may want to make some moves with their defense and hopefully Brady Hoke will be the guy to get them to another level.
Rex Manu, Arrion Springs, Torrodney Prevot, Henry Mondroux and A.J. Hotchkins look like the guys that could possibly take the Duck defense to where it needs to be to win championships.
Oregon with a defense should scare the rest of the Pac 12.