Updated: Sep 16, 2019
Written By: Kelechi Anozie
For linebacker Troy Dye, returning for his senior season was not a hard decision to make.
After a 9-4 campaign which included a bowl victory against Michigan State, Dye's return bring continuity to a defensive unit that is among the best in the Pac-12 conference. Even with the departure of defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, the goal for remains the same for the Oregon Ducks; winning a conference championship and perhaps more.
Dye's production throughout his career has made him one of the important players Oregon football history. Averaging over 102 tackles and three sacks each season, Dye's presence alone has given the Ducks defense its identity.
As a player, Dye is not your conventional weak-side linebacker. At 6'4 and a touch over
225 lbs, his speed and agility as given him the ability to cover receivers in open field, as well as create disruptions in the backfield as an outside linebacker. As overall defensive player, there are few things, Dye cannot do on the field.
"He's the heart and soul of the Oregon defense", writer James Crepea of Oregonlive.com noted of Dye's importance to the Ducks defense. "With more vocal players gone, he's going to have to take on that role as well and started doing so in the spring".
Arguably Oregon's most important offseason move was Dye's decision to return. Though the importance of quarterback Justin Herbert's decision to return cannot be understated, the Ducks' defense will be key to their success in 2019. For Dye, who is poised break Oregon's record for career tackles, leading his team to a conference title would be the proper ending to his collegiate career.