The Ducks may not have made it to national championship game, there are three players who stood out this year: one offensive, one defensive and one special teams player changed the outcomes of games in a positive way this season.
Because of their achievements on the athletic field, Josh Huff, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Bralon Addison have been named as team MVPs by the Emerald sports desk.
Offensive MVP: Josh Huff — Senior — Wide receiver
This was a difficult decision because the obvious choice is quarterback Marcus Mariota but Huff is the definition of a game changer who changed the outlook of the season with his play-making abilities. Huff is the first Oregon receiver since Demetrius Williams (2005) to have over 1,000 yards receiving prior to that season’s bowl game. Huff ended his career at Autzen Stadium with his best game in green and yellow, totaling career highs in catches (9), yards (186) and touchdowns (3). It wasn’t just Huff’s stats that have awarded him this honor, it was the way he embraced the role of offensive leader and how he always wore his emotions on his sleeve. Huff was consistently in the middle of team huddles and pumping up teammates.
Honorable Mention: Marcus Mariota, Hroniss Grasu, Byron Marshall
Defensive MVP: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu — Junior — Defensive back
Ekpre-Olomu was the unquestioned leader of the defense, taking on that role once last season ended according to multiple teammates and coaches. He is also the best player on arguable the best secondary in the nation. While his stats aren’t eye-popping, it should be noted that they are low because very few quarterbacks threw to the receiver he was covering — he helped keep Pac-12 first team wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Paul Richardson well below their season averages (Over half of Richardson’s yards came on a trick play). Much like Huff, Ekpre-Olomu saved his best for last by consistently harassing and shutting down Cooks, widely considered to be the favorite for the Biletnikoff Award in the Civil War.
Tackles: 78 – 51 solo
Passes Broken Up: 6
Passes Defended: 9
Honorable Mention: Taylor Hart, Derrick Malone, Tony Washington
Special Teams MVP: Bralon Addison — Sophomore — Punt returner
With De’Anthony Thomas dealing with an ankle injury for most of the year, Addison was Oregon’s most exciting player on the field. Not only did he contribute as the No. 2 wide receiver on the team, he finished 10th in the country with an average of 15.0 yards per return and tied a school-record with two punt returns for touchdowns in a game (Cal). He was a threat to score anytime he touched the ball and because of penalties, he had another punt return touchdown negated. With the departures of Huff and Thomas (expected), Addison is expected to be Oregon’s top contributor next year.
Punt Returns: 19
Total Yards: 285
Yards per Return: 15.0
Honorable Mention: Matt Wogan, Drew Howell
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