Waianae (Hawaii) Punahou product DeForest Buckner arrived in Eugene two short years ago but is already an established veteran on the defensive line. After accounting for 29 tackles as a true freshman and 39 as a sophomore, the 6-foot-7, 290-pound junior is projected to be a key starter at defensive end in 2014 for Oregon.
Duck Sports Authority caught up with the island native to get his expert opinion on a couple of the offensive positions he defends against daily in practice.
Of the players trying to slow him down, a couple have caught his eye after two weeks of camp. And at the top of the list is a true freshman.
"Standing out early? Tyrell Crosby the freshman," opined Buckner. "He is standing out so far. I think he is going to be a really good guy as he gets older coming up."
Of the veteran blockers senior Jake Fisher has been battling Buckner.
"Jake Fisher is back out there," said Buckner. "I have been going against him the past two days since he has been back. He has been doing really well.
"With Jake he is helping me get better, and at the same time I am helping him get better. So it is a really good match-up."
The Ducks have a tradition at running back and this year they will field at least three excellent ones.
"The running backs are doing really well," assessed Buckner. "Byron Marshall as usual can do it all. Tyner, he is doing a lot better going downhill. The young running back, Royce Freeman, yeah he is a really good guy. You should watch for him this year. He is going to do really well."
Though all the Oregon ball carriers have size, the 6-foot, 229-pound freshman bring it up a notch.
"You have to get your pads low and wrap him up," said Buckner of Freeman. "He will try to run you over."