Oregon football is heading into the 2021 season as one of the favorites to win the national title and a clear front-runner to repeat as Pac-12 champion.
The Ducks are coming off their second straight conference title but the team wants more than just Pac-12 victories; they want a playoff berth. They haven’t made the playoff since its first year in 2014 and the Ducks also made the national title game that season, losing to Cardale Jones and Ohio State — they’re hoping revenge comes this season.
Before that can happen, however, Mario Cristobal needs to figure out his depth chart and a few key positions that are up for grabs heading into the season.
Which position battles will take center stage in Eugene this fall?
3. Tight end
This isn’t the sexiest position battle ever and it’s just a step above an offensive line battle, but with how talented Oregon’s tight ends are, this will be intriguing nonetheless.
Terrance Ferguson and Moliki Matavao are coming in as four-star early enrollees in the 2021 class and both have the potential to play major snaps this season and even push Patrick Herbert, Spencer Webb, or DJ Johnson for the starting job.
Ferguson broke out in the spring as a true freshman and showed that he can push for a spot on the two-deep this fall and Herbert and Webb look like the current favorites to start with the former holding a slight edge. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ferguson pushing those two for the starting job by the start of the season.
Oregon is hoping to utilize the tight ends more on offense and Mario Cristobal has the pieces and the depth to do just that in 2021. The only question is: who will receive the bulk of the snaps?