9/22/2014

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Marshall could spell Thomas at running back

Marshall could spell Thomas at running back

With Kenjon Barner running off to the NFL, it appears that De'Anthony Thomas will be the new featured tailback for the Ducks in 2013. 

Thomas is a threat to score a touchdown any and every time he touches the football.  But obviously, he won't carry the ball on every play.

The Ducks could look to sophomore Byron Marshall to be the back-up to Thomas.  After all, Marshall did get a number of carries last year as a freshman.

"I don't want to beat De'Anthony up a lot," said Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell.  "I want to give him 15 to 20 or maybe more reps a game.  Then, I expect Byron to be able to come in and take up a little bit of that slack."

"Makes me be on my toes and be ready to play at all times and come in whenever they need me," said Marshall. 

Marshall gained 447 yards on 87 carries, scoring four touchdowns last season.

"I'm not like a super big, power back, but I've got enough power to hit somebody and keep going,"  added Marshall.

"De'Anthony has the speed and quickness to break away," said sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Johnstone.  "Byron has the physical ability to run over guys and really move the ball inside zone situations."

Juniors Kenny Bassett and Ayele Forde could also get some reps at tailback like they did in 2012. 

The other possible scenario to be considered is Thomas Tyner, the All-State running back from Aloha who will join Oregon in training camp in August.  He could shake up the depth chart at running back.

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