Oregon fans got a bit of a shock Friday afternoon when linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia announced his intent to transfer. I have to admit, I was surprised by the move myself.
He had spent the last four seasons with the Ducks in Eugene after signing as a 4-star recruit in the 2017 class. He was a mainstay in the Oregon defense and had his ups and downs, but was ultimately one of the most veteran leaders, finishing with 127 total tackles, 72 solo tackles, and 2.5 sacks in 28 games.
The Honolulu native saw the Oregon defense go from average in his early years to among the best in the country in 2019, as the unit helped lead the Ducks to a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl win against Wisconsin.
The news of his departure now begs the question: What's next?
Slade-Matautia figured to start for the Ducks, so they'll need to find a new name to man the middle of the defense.
Fortunately, there's TONS of talent at linebacker. The only problem is that most of it is young, unproven talent.
Noah Sewell is the undoubted best of the bunch--at least from those we've seen play in a college football game. He was an absolute star in 2020 and showed exactly was he was billed as a 5-star recruit.