Duck Season: Previewing the linebackers
**Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the Emerald’s Duck Season magazine, a preview of the Oregon football team’s upcoming season that is currently available for free at all Duck Store locations in Eugene. We will post each story in the days leading up to the first day of fall practice on Aug. 10.
Oregon linebackers are often plagued by inadequate open-field tackling and gap discipline, and Ohio State exploited those weaknesses in the National Championship. Interior starters Joe Walker and Rodney Hardrick will return and provide leadership to an inexperienced group of outside linebackers that includes touted true freshman Fotu Leiato and two junior college recruits. Junior Torrodney Prevot and sophomore four-star recruit Justin Hollins both possess the playmaking ability to fill the shoes of graduates Tony Washington and Derrick Malone on the edge. Danny Mattingly and Jimmie Swain also figure to see increased roles since Oregon tends to rotate frequently on each side of the ball.
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