Somewhat lost in all the talk of coaching changes and promotions is the exceptional work of running backs coach Gary Campbell, who has mentored 18 1,000-yard rushing seasons by 14 different players. Credit also to Steve Greatwood and Neal Zoumboukos (1980-2005) who coached the offensive lines that powered these great performances:
Gary Campbell's 1000-yard running backs
Tony Cherry 1985 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1006
Derek Loville 1988 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1202
Ricky Whittle 1995 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1021
Saladin McCullough 1997 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1343
Rueben Droughns 1999 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1234
Maurice Morris 2000 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1188
Maurice Morris 2001 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1049
Onterrio Smith 2001 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1058
Onterrio Smith 2002 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1141
Terrence Whitehead '04 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1144
Jonathan Stewart 2007 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1722
Jeremiah Johnson 2008 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1201
LeGarrette Blount 2008 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1002
LaMichael James 2009 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1546
LaMichael James 2010 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1731
LaMichael James 2011 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1805
Kenjon Barner 2012 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1767
Byron Marshall 2013 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 1038
When Adam Sparks of Yahoo Sports asked Campbell about this great run back in 2010, he said, "I don't really think about it that much. I realize that those guys were all great players. I'm constantly in contact with all of them. And I think more about our relationships than I do about their accomplishments as players, because they all became very close to me; they were like my sons, and they still are."
Marshall may be the most unappreciated of Campbell's pupils. The running game was a potential question mark for the Ducks following the graduation of Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James heading for the NFL, but the sophomore from San Jose cranked out 6.2 yards per carry and 14 touchdowns last season despite missing the Civil War and being injured early against Arizona. Taking over from De'Anthony Thomas after DAT's ankle injury he reeled off five straight 100-yard games, six total for the season. Thomas Tyner chipped in 711 yards as a true freshman, 9 more tds, also 6.2 a carry.
Both of Coach Cam's young running backs return in 2014, and they'll be aided by newcomers Royce Freeman and Tony James, plus redshirt freshman Kani Benoit and senior Ayele Forde, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship this last season. Forde filled in capably off the bench last year, pacing the group with an average of 6.4 a carry. Tyner and Marshall showed promise catching the football as well, combining for 27 receptions for another 289 yards, displaying the hands to be used more in that role this fall.
The outlook for this unit is tremendous. They're deep and talented with the potential to be both explosive and more effective at the goal line and in short yardage as Freeman, Tyner and Marshall all mature, improving both their strength and vision. Freeman, at 6-0, 225, gives them a dimension the team hasn't had since Blount, who scored four touchdowns for the Patriots in this weekend's playoff game, left for the NFL.
In 2013 Marshall had 31 runs of 10 yards or more, 11 of 20 yards or more, 5 of 30+, and three of over 40. He also had pass receptions for 23, 35, and 36 yards.
Tyner had a solid freshman season, improving steadily as the year went on, capping it off with a 140-yard effort in the Civil War, his first time over the century mark as a collegian. A 10.35 sprinter in the 100 meters, he hasn't completely harnessed his speed as a college running back. Though he debuted with a 31-yard td run versus Viginia, scampered a 66-yard touchdown run versus Washington State (aided by a terrific block from Keanon Lowe) and broke loose for 40 on the first play from scrimmage against the Beavers, many times it appeared he was an ankle tackle or a slip or a stumble away from beating the last defender at the second level.
With a quick burst and good size for someone so supremely fast, he can only get better as his vision, strength and balance improves. Provided he stays healthy and applies himself, he could easily find his way to the Gary Campbell honor roll in his next two seasons, and make a successful transition to the pros, perhaps becoming Oregon's next 1000-yard rusher in the NFL as well.
Hope this isn't starting a trend. I also wonder what happened. He seemed happy with his decision to be a Duck.
It is great to see Gary Campbell acknowledged. He is a coach , a recruiter and a mentor for a lot of young men in the Oregon backfield and probably others as well. When Gary retires it will be a real loss.
That list of players shows how important, Coach C has been. A great recruiter it appears, he has also been able to get great performances out of a very diverse group. Many of them not "benefiting" from "the System", the "Gimmick" that Oregon uses to put up big numbers. Campbell's backs have put up great numbers for decades, and should continue to do so.
Your coaching staff determines whether you are an elite team or not. It is yet to be determined whether this new coaching combination is considered an elite team but I have high hopes. I would prefer the Marine drill sergeant coaching approach as the Ducks need more discipline and strong motivation.
I love the talent heading into the next few seasons at running back. Oregon might decide to call a few more run plays in 2015 when they transition to a new QB. I can see team rushing records being broken. Coach Campbell is amazing... I can't say that enough.
Baker's recommit is a mystery, something the Oregon coaches will have to adjust to. There's a lot of talent remaining on the roster and while it's a significant loss, they can adjust. Baker's mother has Krohn's disease, so he may elect to stay close to home at Washington, or he may join high school teammate Miles Jack at UCLA.
Alarming news to lose a 4-star recruit with speed, especially this close to signing day.
@duckified The timing of this is strange. Of course a verbal is always tenuous. But to have him have Him change his mind, and say that while Oregon is a great program, it just isn't a fit for him, is confusing. What transpired in the time he committed, to yesterday, that made Oregon unfit for him?
The DC situation shouldn't be a factor. It looks like he was impressed by what the Ducks offered initially, but as time went on, and other programs stayed active with him, he just changed his mind. Now it looks like it will be either the hometown Huskies, or a reunion with high school teammate, Miles Jack, at UCLA. Or he could go to USC. Recruiting is crazy!
He's been an incredible asset in this program and yes, it will be a challenge to replace him.
So who would be on the radar for his eventual replacement? Giant shoes to fill...
Campbell has always had a knack for providing a fatherly relationship with his players, but he makes them work hard also. It's a great balance.
According to ESPN Oregon will be back near the top. They must think the DP hire was significant enough.http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10305934/texas-longhorns-move-georgia-bulldogs-move-latest-way-too-early-top-25
One of Kelly's great strengths is that he would mold the offensive attack to the personnel, and the current staff will face the same challenge when Mariota leaves. The Spread has been successful with wildly divergent quarterbacks, Dixon, Masoli, Thomas, and MM, and it will have to morph when he is gone. It certainly looks like the running game would be much more important without him, always a security blanket for a young quarterback.
It is indeed strange but just part of the recruiting game, 17,18 year old kids making lifetime decisions. Weird especially since BB had told Justin Hopklns via Twitter to tell Duck fans how ready he was to replace De'Anthony Thomas and bring home a natty just 10 days ago. I'd chalk it up to a change of heart rather than anything sinister, but yeah, it does seem sudden and unexpected.
Giant indeed. Hope is by the time he's finished one of his proteges will be ready to step in his shoes. You know who would make a great coach? Kenjon Barner. Barner's probably about five years away from that decision, and the Ducks may face theirs within the next couple of years, maybe even this February (not predicting, just acknowledging after the death of his son and an accomplished career that Campbell could retire at any time).