Better or worse: Equal
Freshman All-American Noah Sewell is back after a breakout season, Mase Funa also returns and Adrian Jackson will be back as well. Gone is Isaac Slade-Matautia, so how could the Ducks possibly be just as good in the linebacking corps as they were last season? Justin Flowe is healthy.
The Ducks were sad to see Slade-Matautia leave for SMU but getting Flowe back makes everything seem worth it. He was expected to fight for playing time behind Slade-Matautia and now he can just assume that starting role unless he’s pushed by Dru Mathis. Either way, the starter, and backup, should be just as good, if not better, in 2021.
I expect big things from Flowe as I’ve said that he has All-American potential and Mathis will be a solid contributor, even if he doesn’t win the starting job over the freshman.
So you have Sewell, Flowe, Mathis, Jackson, Funa, Treven Ma’ae, Brandon Buckner, and Keith Brown in the linebacking corps. Yeah, the Ducks are going to be just fine here even with Slade-Matautia’s transfer.