Oregon defensive lineman Alex Balducci, a sophomore from Central Catholic High School (Portland, Oregon), enters his second season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Balducci lettered three seasons of varsity high school football under head coach Steve Pyne playing on both the offensive and defensive line. As a senior he recorded 68 tackles (40 unassisted, 28 assisted), seven sacks with two forced fumbles and one recovery. Balducci earned first-team all-state honors on both sides of the ball and was named Mt. Hood Conference and OSAA 6A Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.
With his strong prep career, he earned a spot in the U.S. Army All-American game where he played on the d-line.
In 2012, Balducci played in four games for the Ducks as a true freshman including one start. He saw action in wins over Colorado, Cal and Oregon State when recorded his first collegiate tackle. He finished the year with just the one assisted tackle. His lone start came against Stanford in the team’s only loss of the season.
Going into the 2013 season, Balducci will be one of the team’s primary reserve d-linemen along with fellow sophomores DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead. Balducci will be the second-team nose guard behind senior starter Wade Keliikipi.
Balducci was active in the team’s 2013 Spring Game, recording two unassisted tackles for the Green team with one being a one-yard tackle for loss.
CBS Sports has Balducci as the No. 24 DT prospect for the 2016 NFL Draft. Of course, with three remaining seasons of eligibility he’ll have plenty of time to climb up draft boards. In fact, he’s so talented he may not even use all four seasons of eligibility. There’s a good chance he leaves a year early for the 2015 NFL Draft.