First off on behalf of the Oregon Ducks and its fans, I'd like to congratulate the LSU Tigers on their recent victory in the National Championship. It was a game we fully expected to be in and expected to win, but such is life. The loss will only make us stronger and more determined going forward.
@Psanchez55 and the gang proved to be the elite of the nation and full marks to everyone over there. You deserve every bit of credit you receive.
I had originally wrote this piece with a different opening paragraph, but had the congratulatory message to LSU saved separately just in case. Unfortunately I needed it after all.
More importantly I'd like to recognize some of our own elite here, on the pond and thank them for their work and dedication to the Duck family as they move on to the EFL draft. Football is the ultimate team sport and none of our successes would have been possible without the tremendous contributions or these five student athletes.
To Danton Howlson @DonCutta190, you were only here for 3 seasons and just missed our championship year, but you were a fine player and person. Your abilities at runningback helped us out tremendously as a team in transition, trying to find its identity on offense. That leadership and passion you brought to the locker room will be missed. I look forward to seeing where you go in the pros.
Warren Snow @Sonnet and Vincent Van Boom @Kirby, I'll talk about at the same time. The two share a similar career path and rarely were seen apart as they grew as football players. Both came in as freshmen and got to be a part of a championship team and did a great job learning from the veterans that they played under. For the next 3 seasons, they became the anchors in the middle of our ferocious defense. It made running against the Ducks very difficult every week. Although both of their users seem to be mostly MIA, I'm sure neither of them will have any trouble cracking an EFL lineup and contributing right away. Once I get around to finishing all the career defensive stats for the Ducks, I'll be shocked if both of your names aren't on those lists.
Tyrone Smoochie-Wallace @Homeskillet was another dependable player that joined the flock in S11, and got to watch some of the stars that are now stars in the EFL, ply their trade and absorb what he could. He was a very versatile player in the secondary and was able to play multiple positions to best help our team. His user is also not very active nowadays, but I do believe he proved himself enough to earn a job at the next level.
Dwayne "Money" Hands is also on to other things as he too graduates. While he didn't play a full year in Oregon, we wish him all the best and will remember him as a Duck forever. He joined out squad on short notice and helped shore up our depth in the secondary.