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Four-Star Transfer Peyton Woodyard Set to Visit Oregon

Peyton Woodyard
© Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News/USA TODAY NETWORK

Four-star Alabama safety Peyton Woodyard has officially entered his name in the transfer portal and while most spring games have concluded, the California native is garnering plenty of attention—particularly from Oregon coach Dan Lanning.

Although the spring transfer portal window closed on Tuesday—except for graduate transfers whose window closes today—with plenty of players entering their names in the system, the Oregon Ducks were one of the lucky schools to lose players that weren't expected to be starters.

While the Ducks haven't had to fill numerous holes on their roster, the addition of Woodyard would improve the defensive backs room—and Lanning knows it

Who Is the Front-Runner for Peyton Woodyard?

Thanks to a report by On3 on Monday the front runner in the Woodyard sweepstakes was a school "out west," fans instantly connected him to the Ducks, considering Lanning's recent trend of convincing former Alabama players to join him in Eugene.

Previously, Lanning brought over Khyree Jackson and Traeshon Holden from the Crimson Tide in his first two seasons as the Ducks coach. Jackson was recently drafted by the Minnesota Vikings after a successful season with the Ducks in 2023, while Holden is projected to have a significant role in the offense in 2024 for the Ducks.

Not long after Woodyard's transfer portal announcement, On3 confirmed that the team to beat for his services was Oregon. The 6-foot-1 safety is not expected to stay in the Southeastern Conference since he won't be allowed to start in his his first season with the Ducks because of the new transfer rules.

Woodyard entered the portal with a "do not contact" tag, indicating he already had his team in mind and is set to visit Eugene this weekend.

Who Is Peyton Woodyard?

Woodyard is a big-bodied safety from Bellflower, California. He brings size, grit and elite football IQ to the table. He can be seen on tape showing off the ability to find the ball quickly, especially in the run game.

Woodyard gave St. John Bosco High School a lot of production and leadership. In his sophomore season, he finished with 62 tackles and a forced fumble. As a freshman in 2024, Woodyard will have an immediate impact helping the Ducks defense stop the run. Woodyard was not projected to be the day one starter at safety for Alabama, but Crimson Tide fans everywhere can agree he looked like a player who could have played a big role in the defense in his first year.

Woodyard has flashed the ability on tape to be versatile, using his size as an advantage to make a play on the ball in the air. He was an overall top 115 recruit in 2024, which leaves fans puzzled about why he would leave Alabama already.

How Would Woodyard Impact Oregon?

Lanning has been known for being determined and motivated to improve his team no matter what, and he is doing just that so far. The Ducks coaching staff knows they are transitioning into a new era by moving into the Big Ten Conference, and they are recruiting like it. Oregon might have something to offer Woodyard that Alabama does not—an immediate starting role.

Peyton Woodyard
© Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard/USA TODAY NETWORK

The defensive back room could still be improved despite having some players show promise at the spring game. The Ducks lost safety Evan Williams to the draft, who seemed to always be around the ball.

Woodyard can provide that on day one. In addition, Daylen Austin still has an ongoing situation with the law that could prevent him from seeing the field this season. Lastly, the Ducks lost Kodi Decambra to the portal on Sunday. Decambra, a three-star recruit in 2023, was not a projected starter.

The lack of depth could provide Woodyard the opportunity to become an immediate starter for Lanning and the Ducks in 2024.


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