University of Oregon defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli has informed head coach Chip Kelly that he will forgo his religious mission and remain in Eugene for the 2011 season.

The 6-4, 318-pound Glendale, Utah native was credited with nine tackles, including one tackle for loss, and broke up one pass in 13 appearances as a true freshman this season.

”This was a personal decision that after I sought opinions from others, I made on my own,” Heimuli said. “Playing football at the college level and going to school at Oregon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I feel that I have a great thing going.

“I love my church and will always put the Lord first in my life but trust that he will lead me along the way. I just don’t want to lose this opportunity that is in front of me right now.”

The Ducks completed the 2010 season with a 12-1 record and a 22-19 setback to Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game.

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