The Ducks continue to garner preseason awards in what fans are hoping is the year they finally win a national championship.
Juniors De’Anthony Thomas and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu were named to the All-Herbie team, a special set of awards selected by ESPN’s college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. This is the 13th year that Herbstreit has selected his own all-star team.
Thomas was named as the team’s kick returner after returning 16 kickoffs for 389 yards and one touchdown. He ranked 41st nationally in the country with 24.3 yards per return
His lone touchdown return came in Oregon’s biggest game of the year when the Ducks defeated Kansas State 35-17. Thomas took the opening kickoff at the six-yard line and sprinted untouched down the right sideline for a 94-yard touchdown 11 seconds into the game.
Ekpre-Olomu was nominated to the All-Herbie team for his play as a defensive back. He ranked sixth in the country last year in passes defended with 20, while placing second in forced fumbles with six. He was the top-ranked defensive back in forced fumbles.
Ekpre-Olomu led Oregon in passes defended and forced fumbles, finished second in interceptions (4) and fourth in tackles (63).
Thomas was nominated in special categories “Top Wide Receiver” and “Most Exciting Player” in college football. Each special category has five options where fans are allowed to vote for which player deserves the award. He was tied for first in “Most Exciting Player” and placed fourth in “Top Wide Receiver.”
Ekpre-Olomu was second in the “Lockdown Corner” category while Oregon placed third as a team in the “Most Intriguing Storyline” category with the headline being “Oregon without Chip Kelly.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota was fifth in “Top Quarterback” and second in “Do-It-All Quarterback.”
Herbstreit picked Alabama to three-peat as National Champions over Ohio State and Stanford defeating USC for the Pac-12 Championship.