The Oregon Ducks' chances of repeating as Pac-12 champions -- and making a run at the College Football Playoff -- improved Monday when four draft-eligible juniors on defense said they were returning to school.
Nose tackle Jordon Scott, defensive tackle Austin Faoliu and cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham announced their decisions at a joint news conference.
"We felt this decision needed to be done together," Graham said.
While none of the four was considered a Day 1 or Day 2 prospect for the 2020 draft, they are veteran players who helped the Ducks rank ninth nationally in scoring defense (16.5 points per game) and 22nd nationally in total defense (329.1 yards per game) this season.
Oregon is now expected to return nine starters from that defense, which held four conference opponents to single digits and helped the Ducks cap a 12-2 season with a 28-27 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.
Scott, Lenoir and Graham earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors from the league coaches.
Scott is a run-plugger who made 32 tackles. Graham has made 39 consecutive starts, Lenoir 27. They combined for 111 tackles, three interceptions and 17 pass break-ups in 2019. Faoliu posted 39 tackles, including five for loss and two sacks.
The top question for Oregon in the offseason will be how to replace senior quarterback Justin Herbert.
--Field Level Media