With spring practice over, The Oregonian/OregonLive is reviewing Oregon’s depth chart position by position. We continue the 25-part series by looking at the left guards.
EUGENE — T.J. Bass played the most snaps of Oregon’s offensive linemen last season and is a lock to start again in 2022. The question is where.
Bass split time last season, with six starts at left guard and eight at left tackle, while playing over 900 snaps.
He spent move of the spring at left guard but was back at left tackle for the spring game and Ryan Walk was at left guard in the split squad scrimmage.
Marcus Harper II can play both guard spots as well, so the Ducks have options when they determine where their starters are best fit.
Post-spring depth chart
T.J. Bass: 6-foot-5, 318 pounds, fifth-year senior
Ryan Walk: 6-foot-3, 293 pounds, sixth-year redshirt-senior OR
Marcus Harper II: 6-foot-4, 308 pounds, third-year sophomore
Bass said during the spring that his preference was to return to playing guard, which is where he likely projects at the next level. However, he has the length and size to play tackle and so it’s not as though it’s a bad move if he ends up there.
But by putting him outside Oregon would give up a degree of Bass’ ability to pull on counter runs, since tackles do that less often than guards. It’s not only something does well, he relishes getting out in space.
“It seems like every offensive coordinator we get here loves counter,” Bass said. “So it’s awesome.”
Walk is penciled in at right guard, where he spent the majority of the spring, but there’s a number of scenarios where he could move. For example, if Bass ends up at left tackle, Steven Jones could be at right guard and Walk could be at left guard.
There’s also real competition on the offensive line for the fifth spot.
Harper is entering his third season and should be fairly locked in on the two-deep at one or both guard spots. Regardless of whether Bass ends up at guard or tackle, Harper has a chance to vie for at least a backup role on either side of the line.
Dave Iuli projects as an interior linemen and played both tackle and guard in high school.
Josh Conerly Jr. and Kawika Rogers appear more likely to be at tackle.
“(Former offensive line coach Alex) Mirabal was double under. Now we’re striking chest plate, hands inside. Trying to get more vertical on double teams. Little technique stuff that we’re trying to get down.” – T.J. Bass