The University of Oregon's offense is a blur and it all starts with the Ducks' blazing-fast running backs. That's nothing new, of course, and it doesn't figure to change in the near future, with the nation's top-ranked — and speediest — recruits committing to play in Eugene year after year. On the heels of Aloha (Ore.) senior Thomas Tyner's record-setting performance, here's a look at a couple of the guys he'll be following.
LaMichael James, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
James starred at Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas) and was the sixth-ranked running back in the Class of 2008, according to Rivals.com.
In High School: James rushed for 2,043 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Leopards to the Class 3A Texas State Championship. "He was something special and we knew that early," Liberty-Eylau coach Pat Brady said. "We tried to build things around him and showcase his talents." James originally committed to TCU, but then decided to go to Oregon instead.
At Oregon: He didn't do much — except set the school's all-time record for rushing yards. James rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks' 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl.
De'Anthony Thomas, 5-foot-9, 170 pounds
Thomas was a five-star recruit at Crenshaw (Los Angeles), where he was the top-ranked running back in the Class of 2011.
In High School: Thomas played in Snoop Dogg's (or is it Snoop Lion?) pee-wee league, rushed for 1,299 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He also intercepted five passes to hel the Cougars to their second straight city championship. His wind-aided time of 20.61 seconds in the 200 meters as a junior was the fastest in the nation by a high school athlete.
At Oregon: Established himself as one of the most electric playmakers in college football with 16 touchdowns (7 rushing, 9 receiving) as a true freshman last year. The Black Mamba already has seven touchdowns on only 24 touches this season for the high-flying Ducks.
Thomas Tyner, 6-foot, 200 pounds
Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.) senior is the sixth-ranked running back in the Class of 2013.
At Oregon: TBD.
Others Speedsters in Eugene
Tyner will almost certainly share carries at Oregon, and not only with Thomas. The Ducks have another potential star in Byron Marshall, who rushed for 125 yards last week. Dontrel Wilson, a four-star recruit from DeSoto (Texas), will be in Tyner's class.