The Oregon Ducks announced running back Thomas Tyner will retire from football due to medical reasons. The 21-year-old missed the 2015 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in August and will finish his career with 1,284 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns in 23 games at Oregon. Andrew Greif of the Oregonian noted he was a former 5-star recruit.
According to Tyson Alger of the Oregonian, Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich said Tyner's future was still up in the air Wednesday.
"I think it just totally depends," Helfrich said. "Guys that are injured I never want to put a cap on that. If a guy is out for the year or done for his career, we'll talk about that."
However, it became clear when Helfrich spoke on the unfortunate situation Friday, per Rob Moseley of GoDucks.com.
“We thank Thomas and wish him well,” Helfrich said. “We will continue to support his efforts to graduate from the University of Oregon.”
Tyner tweeted a message thanking his supporters after the announcement:
The 5'11", 215-pound back showed promise during his freshman season, rushing for 711 yards and nine touchdowns. The next year, he gained 511 yards, including 62 in a 2015 national championship game loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Tyner suffered a shoulder injury in the middle of that season when he took a hit from Washington Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson. Tyner's father said his son is now dealing with two bad shoulders, per Greif.
It's a tough situation for the Aloha, Oregon, native, but the Ducks must move on. Sophomore Royce Freeman broke the school rushing record with 1,836 yards in Tyner's absence and should remain the starter in 2016.
The Ducks will be strong in the run game, as a trio of backs, freshmen Taj Griffin and Tony Brooks-James and sophomore Kani Benoit, combined for 1,222 yards on the ground while backing up Freeman last season, per Moseley.
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A college football team's recruiting class is judged by the sum of its parts, but there's no denying the player at the top tends to draw the most initial interest.
These are the prospects each Power Five team wanted more than anyone else—the ones who serve as the face of their class and thus head into 2016 with the most notoriety.
Not all of the top recruits will end up contributing this first season, but for the time being, they're drawing the most attention. We've evaluated the top signee—based on their 247Sports composite ranking—for each Power Five conference team (as well as BYU and Notre Dame) and assessed their chances of being a part of the plan for this fall.
Anyone who wonders what kind of impact a freshman can have on a team only needs to look at the University of Alabama football program last season.
While many would think the Crimson Tide might probably be the least likely team for a freshman to contribute about half of the 2015 recruiting class, they did with wide receiver Calvin Ridley joining Amari Cooper as the only first-year players in program history to have 1,000-yard seasons.
“Well, he didn’t go into the year replacing a guy like Amari; that’s not our expectation for him,” head coach Nick Saban said. “He was playing, rotating with Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart and [Richard] Mullaney. Those four guys were sort of playing a lot. Robert Foster got hurt, and that gave Calvin a lot more opportunity to play.
“But I can’t really say that I am surprised. When we recruited him, we thought he was an outstanding talent.”
Ridley and redshirt freshman cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who caught the onside kick against Clemson in the national championship game, ended up named to the Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-America Team.
They were two of eight Southeastern Conference selections—the most of any league. The others were Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw, LSU offensive lineman Will Clapp, Missouri defensive end Walter Brady and defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., with Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk named an all-purpose player and Florida’s Antonio Callaway at punt returner.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the SEC teams most likely starting some true freshmen in 2016:
By looking at 247Sports' team rankings, we know which teams added the most talent by volume this recruiting cycle.
We don't know, necessarily, where they added it.
To fix that, we've graded which team signed the most talent at each position. There are spots where even Alabama, which just won its sixth straight recruiting national title, failed to sign whomever it wanted.
The grades made heavy use of 247Sports' composite ratings, which aggregate four separate recruiting services. From there we compared the quality and quantity of players at each position in each class.
Sound off below and let us know what you think!
National signing day is over, and the elation over completing a school’s recruiting class is still echoing around campuses across the Pac-12.
All told, it was a fairly impressive effort from several of the conference’s football programs. Both USC and UCLA finished strong to capture top-15 recruiting classes nationally, and others such as Arizona State, Oregon and Washington faired well in the rankings with top-40 classes despite not having a ton of scholarships to offer this February.
While coaches have barely had time to catch their breath from being out on the recruiting trail, work is no doubt underway to prepare for 2016. With that in mind, let's turn our attention to Pac-12 teams most likely to start their recently signed players as true freshmen or transfers this season.
While every squad will likely see a newcomer wind up as a starter because of either injuries or talent level, here are a few who are already factoring in their new signees.