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Former Oregon player Fotu Leiato II found dead in single car accident

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Former Oregon defender Fotu Leiato II was found dead in a single car accident near Autzen Stadium early Friday morning.

According to KEZI-TV, Leiato was riding in a car when it rolled over and crashed around 2:30 a.m. near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Kinsrow Avenue in Eugene, directly to the east of Autzen Stadium. The driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Pedro Chavarin, Jr., reportedly told police he was the vehicle’s lone occupant, and the crash was then cleared.

It wasn’t until several hours later, when a woman was walking in the area just before 7 a.m., that she saw a hand and called authorities.

Chavarin was taken to the hospital and cited for DUII, according to KEZI. Obviously, the discovery of Leiato’s body complicates the case tremendously. The coroner will have to determine the approximate time when Leiato’s death occurred and whether Chavarin’s alleged falsehood cost Leiato his life.

Leiato signed with Oregon in 2015 out of Steilacoom, Wash., a southwestern suburb of Tacoma. He played as a true freshman and appeared in 37 of 38 possible games on special teams and at safety and outside linebacker, recording 37 career tackles. He was kicked off the team in April after he was arrested for removing a parking boot from his vehicle, drawing charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree theft.

Leiato was 21 years old.

Latest Heisman odds have Stanford’s Bryce Love, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor out front

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Quarterbacks have dominated the conversation when it comes to the Heisman Trophy but 2018 could be a little different when it comes to the nation’s most outstanding player thanks to several running backs elbowing their way to the front of the line.

According to ESPN, the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas just posted their first set of odds for the Heisman this season and have installed Stanford tailback Bryce Love as the betting favorite for the award at 5-1 odds. Following closely on his heels is Wisconsin sophomore back Jonathan Taylor at 7-1 odds.

Love followed in the big shoes left behind on the Farm by Christian McCaffrey and was sensational last season, rushing for 2,118 yards (second in FBS) and won the Doak Walker Award as the best running back in the country. Similar to his fellow Stanford teammates though, he finished as the runner-up for the Heisman to eventual winner Baker Mayfield — the fifth time a Cardinal player finished second in the voting since Toby Gerhart narrowly missed out on the trophy in 2009. While being the favorite by no means guarantees a great season, it does give Love a little extra, um, well… love to kick off his 2018 campaign to shed the groomsman label and finally become a groom himself when it comes to the award.

As for Taylor, he had a terrific debut campaign for the Badgers with 1,977 yards as a true freshman and led his team to an undefeated regular season record, a division title and an Orange Bowl victory. After his spot on the board however it’s all the glamour position of quarterbacks according to the Westgate, which lists Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa at 10-1, followed by Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Arizona’s Khalil Tate all at 14-1.

There’s not been too much movement in the odds following the conclusion of the 2017 season, as Bovada listed Love and Taylor as their two biggest favorites back in January. The full, updated, odds from the Westgate are below:

Love (5-1)

Taylor (7-1)

Tagovailoa (10-1)

Fromm, Herbert, Tate (14-1)

Washington quarterback Jake Browning, Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins, Georgia running back D'Andre Swift, Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (20-1)

Report: Pac-12 to require bowl teams to hit six-win benchmark

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The Pac-12 has approved a rule requiring its member teams to win at least six games to attain bowl eligibility, according to a report Monday from Ralph Russo of the Associated Press. The rule was authored by a subcommittee of athletics directors and approved by league presidents.

The rule means any 5-7 Pac-12 team would have to stay home for the postseason, even if a spot is available for them.

Five 5-7 teams have appeared in bowl games since the NCAA determined in 2015 that 5-7 teams are eligible to fill a surplus of bowl slots. Such slots are handed out through a ranked order of Academic Progress Ratings scores.

None of the five 5-7 bowl teams to date have hailed from the Pac-12, though UCLA did play against a 5-7 Nebraska team in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl. The Bruins lost that game, 37-29.

Oregon LB arrested for removing parking boot dismissed by Ducks

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In April, Fotu Leiato was arrested on a couple of charges related to the illegal removal of a parking boot from his vehicle.  A month later, we’ve learned Leiato was given the boot from his current football program for good measure.

247Sports.com was the first to report that Leiato has been dismissed by first-year Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.  Further to the point, the linebacker’s dismissal came a day after his April arrest but the news didn’t surface until Thursday.

In the April incident, Leiato was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft and criminal trespassing.  That was actually his second arrest this year as he was charged with misdemeanor trespassing in January.

The combination of the two arrests led Cristobal to pull the trigger on a dismissal.

Coming to Eugene as a three-star safety, Leiato played in 37 of 38 games the past three seasons.  The Washington native earned the first start of his collegiate playing career during the 2017 season.

The senior had been in line to earn a starting job exiting spring and heading into the summer phase of the offseason.

Former Alabama OL Dallas Warmack confirms graduate transfer to Oregon

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Reunited and it feels so good.

At least, that’s what Mario Cristobal must be feeling after hearing the good news on Saturday that former Alabama offensive lineman Dallas Warmack had committed to Oregon and would be rejoining his old offensive line coach in Eugene.

Warmack appeared in 16 games during his career with the Crimson Tide but couldn’t crack the rotation in 2017. A former top recruit and U.S. Army All-American as a prep, he will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Ducks and figures to solidify an offensive line that could be among the best in the conference with four players returning with starting experience.

If that last name and Alabama connection sounds familiar, you’d be correct in thinking that Warmack is the younger brother of Chance Warmack — a former top 10 pick who recently won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles this past season. Cristobal, who is now Oregon’s head coach, was on the staff in Tuscaloosa when the younger Warmack was originally recruited to the school.