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Oregon Ducks Offseason: Tra Carson, Josh Huff Kick Off Festivities

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The regular season for the Oregon Ducks is just under six months away. The Oregon faithful will be frantically counting down the days, because the offseason does nothing but cause pain and misery.

Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard:

Running back Tra Carson intends to transfer from Oregon, a team source confirmed.

Earlier Saturday, Carson indicated his intention to transfer with a post on his Twitter account.

Carson, who had 45 carries for 254 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman last fall, wrote: "Dont know what color uniform im going to be in next year."

Jack Moran of the Register-Guard:

University of Oregon football player Josh Huff faces a drunken-driving charge stemming from a traffic stop near the UO campus early Saturday morning, a Eugene police spokeswoman said.

Huff, 20, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants after a police officer stopped his 2004 Chrysler Sebring near the corner of East 18th Avenue and Agate Street, spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said.

The officer pulled over the car at 1:22 a.m. after seeing it speeding eastbound along East 18th between Harris and Alder streets, McLaughlin said.

After stopping the car, the officer became suspicious that Huff had been drinking, McLaughlin said.

After the jump, our newest contributor Josh Schlichter talks about the impact of Carson leaving Eugene, and I discuss the Huff situation briefly.

Josh: Oregon running back Tra Carson has become the 4th Running Back to leave the program since 2009 (LaMichael James, Lache Seastrunk, and Dontae Williams), all from Texas surprisingly.

Carson really was dealt a bad hand: for the first year of his career, he was slotted behind James, perhaps the best player to ever down a rendition of an Oregon uniform, Barner, a still solid running back, and DeAnthony Thomas, who could be the next best player ever at Oregon.

Now that Thomas has proven that he will be able to take more carries, Barner didn’t leap for the pros, and Prep-Superstar Thomas Tyner right behind him, Carson apparently wanted to start right away, or couldn’t handle the rain up here in Eugene. Most likely the latter of the two since Carson could have been a season away from being the primary ball-carrier in Chip Kelly’s offense.

His departure will test Oregon’s depth at the skill positions again, now two running backs short, but still, Oregon is not totally decimated from the departures. The depth chart is poised to have Kenjon Barner starting for the Ducks, spelled by DeAnthony Thomas (who will play just as much as Barner), then Ayele Forde will split 3rd string with new recruit Byron Marshall (essentially the same player as Carson, who could be classified as a power back).

Avinash: Huff's arrest for a DUI marks yet another in a series of painful PR hits to the integrity of the Oregon football program. Obviously it's very difficult to keep players from doing what they do, but are things that bad in Eugene that athletes continue to repeat the mistakes that former athletes in the program have already made year after year. The Ducks simply have to do a better job picking players that won't continually cause trouble, because with each passing year the issues look more systemic than random.

Football-wise, Huff is far from a consistent receiver, but he was a burner on the field and give the Ducks passing game a little punch to go along with the more consistent pass-catching of Lavasier Tuinei. None of the receivers behind those two have produced much, with 36 catches spread amongst six receivers. Although Huff will probably be out only a game or two, he's probably going to earn wrath from Chip Kelly for this, and that probably means he has a longer road back to get playing on the field again.

Depth, depth, depth is what the Ducks are really being robbed of with Carson going and Huff in the doghouse. Oregon is nearly revamping their entire offense with LaMichael and Darron leaving, and those two figured to play a prominent role in keeping Oregon's offense moving right. There is no receiver depth and running back depth is also at a critical point.

The black eyes keep on coming for Oregon, and eventually one of them is going to do real, lasting damage to their chances of winning conference titles.