Why Oregon Will Have One of the Best Defensive Lines in the Nation

Nathan LoweryCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 26: Running back Jovan Stevenson #19 of the Oregon State Beavers is gang tackled by defensive end Brandon Hanna #44, defensive end Terrell Turner #45 o and defensive tackle Taylor Hart #66 of the Oregon Ducks in the second quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Picture the Oregon Ducks football program.

What you will probably see is a little bit of lighting; finesse players sprinting up and down the field while the defense just tries to attempt damage control.

2012 will be different.

With three starters returning along the defensive line, and a certain recruit coming in, Oregon will have one of the top defensive lines in the nation.

With only the loss of Terrell Turner, the Ducks will have an experienced behemoth getting into stance against the Pac-12, one that will bring an anomaly to Eugene.


Last year Oregon was manhandled by the power run game that LSU employed on opening week, and skated by against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Dion Jordan, Taylor Hart and Wade Keliikipi were all starters last year and were impressive through the rest of the season.

Arik Armstead, an incoming 5-star recruit, is projected to be a starter, replacing Turner at DE.

Add an Ricky Heimulim Koa Kai'ai, and Deforest Buckner in as depth, and you have an intimidating front four.

Jordan provides Oregon with a tall, quick, pass-rusher to wreak havoc on the quarterback, and should be one of the best defensive ends in the Pac-12, if not the nation.

Just look at his hit on Kevin Prince in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Hart and Keliikipi, both juniors who were impressive in their first year starting, provide two big 300-lb. mammoths in the middle at defensive tackle.

Opposing rushers such as Cameron Marshall and Stefan Taylor will be eaten up by the duo and will provide a wall along the line.

Now this is where things get mouth-watering for the Ducks.

Arik Armstead, easily the biggest defensive recruit to take his talents to Eugene since Haloti Ngata, and one of Oregon's biggest catches ever, is going to be an immediate force at the collegiate level.

Already possessing the size (6'8" 280 lbs.) and strength, Armstead gives them a big body to place at end to manhandle opposing linemen.

Add this to two returning linebackers, John Boyett, both corners, Jackson Rice, and the Ducks' already explosive offense, and you can see why Oregon is on the verge of something big in 2012.

In the end, it will be Duck Fever that ends the world.