Oregon football has had just one AP All-American in the Mario Cristobal era and that was Penei Sewell back in 2019. He was named to just about every All-American list and was the nation’s top offensive lineman and was treated accordingly in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But for a projected national title contender, fans are expecting more.
Just one AP All-American since 2014 is not good enough for a program like Oregon and that needs to change in 2021. Luckily, the Ducks have one of their most talented rosters in school history, so getting one AP All-American doesn’t seem all that crazy.
However, I think Oregon has a few clear candidates to be named to the All-American team.
Who are they?
Before you call me crazy for this, just hear me out. CJ Verdell was a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his first two seasons with Oregon and after a “down-year” in 2020, he has set a lofty goal for himself and he’s earned the praise of the coaching staff this offseason.
Setting a 2,000-yard goal for himself in 2021 might seem ridiculous, but seeing as he rushed for over 2,200 yards in his first two seasons while scoring 18 touchdowns, it’s not exactly completely out of the question. He set this lofty goal because he believes that he can hit the mark even while splitting carries with Travis Dye, and there’s no real reason to doubt him.
Do I think he’s going to rush for 2,000 yards this season? No, it just doesn’t seem like he’ll get enough carries, but with most of his offensive line returning and if he can hit 200-250 carries and average over 6.0 yards per touch, I could see him approaching that 1,500-yard mark and really taking the nation by storm.
Verdell has All-American potential and he’s the one player on offense who I could see earning those honors. Other offensive players have the potential, but not as much as Verdell in 2021.