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Oregon Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Ducks in 2022

Bo Nix, Auburn Tigers Football

All eyes will be on former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, who transferred to Oregon seeking a fresh start with the Ducks and their new coaching staff

Oregon lost an excellent recruiting head coach with Mario Cristobal's departure for Miami, but the Ducks replaced him with another.

Dan Lanning coordinated Georgia's historically excellent defense in the Bulldogs' 2021 national championship campaign, with many players he recruited. Lanning's quickly shown his chops on the trail since replacing Cristobal — and his first big recruiting splash was actually a coach.

The addition of Tosh Lupoi to the staff gives Oregon a proven heavy-hitter on the scene, and in turn the Ducks welcome yet another talented crop of newcomers in the first season of a new era.

It's not just blue-chip freshmen coming to Eugene, either. Oregon has one of the most impressive collections of transfers of any program in college football lined up for 2022.

Bo Nix, QB 

Certainly the most intriguing of Oregon's new additions, Nix started three seasons at Auburn — debuting with a win that contributed to the 2019 Ducks missing the College Football Playoff — and had his share of ups and downs.

A fresh start in a new league could bolster Nix, but it's not all new faces for the quarterback. Kenny Dillingham, Oregon's first-year offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, held the same positions at Auburn in 2019 when Nix had his best statistical campaign.

Chase Cota, WR 

Cota showed flashes of brilliance at UCLA, most notably a show-stopping performance in the Bruins' historic comeback at Washington State in 2019.

Cota should have the opportunity to produce like that more often with the Ducks. He follows in some big footsteps at Oregon; his father, Chad, played on the 1995 Rose Bowl team.

Jordan James, RB 

With CJ Verdell headed to the NFL and Travis Dye's transfer to USC, reps will be available to a newcomer in the Oregon backfield. James, a one-time Georgia verbal commit, was a late add for the Ducks signing in February. His highlights during his prep career in Tennessee are reminiscent of LaMichael James.

Sam Taimani, DL 

The Oregon-Washington rivalry may be the most acrimonious in the Pac-12, show the transfer of a Husky into the Ducks program may raise eyebrows. The first time Taimani lines up on the Oregon front, however, any lingering animosity should subside for the Duck faithful.

Taimani collected 41 tackles including two for a loss last season and batted down a pair of passes. He's a versatile lineman who can man the interior but has the quickness to rush off the edge.

Jordon Riley, DT 

Not many linemen come as big as Riley. At 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, the Nebraska transfer is a physical presence up front not unlike Lanning's star pupil at Georgia last season, Jordan Davis.

Riley was a highly touted high school prospect, initially landing at North Carolina before his move to Nebraska. His position coach in Lincoln, Tony Tuioti, now oversees the Ducks' defensive line.

Podcast: Examining Returning Starters and Teams With the Most/Least Talent Returning for the 2022 Season

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter @KyleKensing.