Secondary coach John Neal likes safeties who can cover and set the tone physically for a defense. Pat Chung, Keith Lewis, John Boyett, T.J. Ward, Matthew Harper, they could all find the football and make things miserable for receivers over the middle.
Every one of those guys went on to play in the NFL. And Ifo Ekpre-Olomu might be better than any of them.
■ Here's a closer look at Oregon prospect Tony James.
■ Alex Shoemaker looks at reserve cornerback Troy Hill.
In 2012, Hill appeared in 10 games for the Ducks and saw a dip in production due to Ekpre-Olomu taking a firm hold of the second starting CB position. Hill finished the season with 26 tackles (22 unassisted, four assisted), one tackle for loss, five pass deflections and one interception that went for 29 yards and a touchdown. It was Hill’s first collegiate touchdown.
Going into the 2013 season, Hill will continue to play behind Mitchell and Ekpre-Olomu, but will see extensive playing time as a reserve.