After losing Travis Dye, CJ Verdell, and Trey Benson, Oregon football needs to make four-star running back Jordan James the top 2022 class priority.
Heading into the offseason, there was a lot of uncertainty in the backfield for Oregon football.
Travis Dye was fresh off a 1,000-yard season with the Ducks and had a solid performance in an Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma. He had the decision to enter the NFL draft or come back for one last year and he chose the latter — but he transferred to USC. CJ Verdell suffered an injury early in the season and had the choice to come back as well, but he opted to remain in the NFL draft.
And then there was the surprise transfer from Trey Benson. Sean Dollars, too, entered the portal, but the former four-star from the 2019 class talked to Dan Lanning and decided to stay.
Three running backs down, the Ducks had some planning to do in order to try and replace all of that production.
Dan Lanning has already looked at the portal and Colorado transfer Jarek Broussard seems like a serious option who wouldn’t be bad at all, but the 2022 class could also have a top option.
Georgia commit Jordan James is ranked the No. 191 prospect in the class and the 16th-best running back, according to the composite, and he was just on campus on Jan. 21. He is considering Florida, Notre Dame, and Oregon along with Georgia on National Signing Day and Lanning needs to make sure he’s a priority.
Byron Cardwell, Sean Dollars, and potentially Broussard would make for a quality backfield, but an injury or two would be detrimental. Add James to the mix and the Ducks would have an elite third or fourth option.
With signing day approaching and after the departures of Dye, Verdell, and Benson, the need for James is growing in Eugene.