Oregon Ducks: Boise State Broncos

There are times where it seems as though defensive end Keisean Lucier-South (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran) is playing a video game out on the field, as the 6-foot-4, 200-pound defensive end can be a terror on both sides of the ball. Off of it, Lucier-South said life has begun to reflect a virtual reality as well.

It began this past December, when the sophomore made contact with his first college coach. But rather than the usual feeling-out process recruits and coaches go through, Lucier-South was thrust immediately into the ranks of the early offered. That first offer came from Boise State.


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Corona (Calif.) Centennial was the place to be for college coaches this past Thursday, as the Huskies went through their spring showcase event designed to give schools from every level a chance to evaluate the juniors and top underclassmen. More than 30 schools were represented, including coaches from Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington.


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For ESPN Watch List athlete Christian McCaffrey (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian), there’s literally no such thing as an off day. Spring break is included.


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Oregon keeping tabs on in-state talent 

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Under Chip Kelly, the Oregon Ducks made it a priority to lock up the top in-state players as early as possible. Among the nation's top programs, the Ducks have perhaps the thinnest crop of in-state talent every year, but in recent years the talent level has improved slightly. The Ducks have been able to keep most of the few top recruits inside of the border in the past couple of years. The Class of 2014 doesn't have any players the caliber of Thomas Tyner or Evan Voeller, but there are a few locals who could earn an Oregon offer:


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Oregon DE Humphreys has two on top 

February, 11, 2013
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Hailing from a school that has produced three U.S. Army All-Americans along the defensive line since the 2008 class, DE Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) is looking to make a name for himself as he follows in the path of former Rams' defensive linemen Myles Wade, Brennan Scarlett and current Duck Alex Balducci.


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As one of the best players on what will presumably be among the top high school football teams in the country next season, ESPN Watch List LB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) has received plenty of attention from college coaches in recent weeks. Last week, the 6-foot, 200-pound LB received two new scholarship offers from two tradition-rich programs.

The latest schools to be in touch with Williams both pulled the trigger and offered Williams a scholarhsip.


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Oregon OL coach Steve Greatwood has done an incredible job finding hidden gems from the mainland and the Pacific Islands. His latest discovery is currently enrolled at a junior college in Southern California, but he comes from a place where rugby is the sport of choice.


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Ducks No. 2 in Way-Too-Early Top 25

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Alabama CheerleadersStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesAlabama, with three of the past four national titles, is No. 1 in the Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2013.

There are still seven months before the start of the 2013 season, and the teams and their order figure to change frequently, but it's never too early to take a look at the Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2013.

And with three national championships in the past four years, there's no reason to change the team that's on top. Oregon, which finished the season No. 2 in the polls, starts there in 2013 as well.

Also see:

Juco DE Pearson has favorites 

December, 13, 2012
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With an official visit lined up for San Diego State on Dec. 21, defensive end Roosevelt Pearson (San Jacinto, Calif./Mount San Jacinto Community College) isn’t worried about signing when the mid-term period starts next week.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end knows what he’s looking for and he has favorites in San Diego State, Oregon and Boise State, with an emphasis on the Ducks and Aztecs.

“They have a pretty good football team,” said Pearson of the Ducks. “It’s a great school from what I hear and a lot more.

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When Notre Dame headed west to take on USC last Saturday, the only thing on its mind was winning the game against its biggest rival and advancing to the BCS championship game. The Irish handled their business on the field and immediately looked to capitalize on their positive momentum off if it.

[+] EnlargeDwight Williams
Tom Hauck for ESPN.com2014 Watch List LB Dwight Williams is interested in Oregon but hasn't received much interest from the Ducks yet.
Notre Dame is one of a select few schools that has the cache to go into California and compete with anybody -- including USC -- for elite recruits. The Irish have the attention of a number of top 2014 athletes out west and Irish wide receiver coach Mike Denbrock stayed behind in California to see one of them.

After being in touch with 2014 LB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) via email, Denbrock stopped by the Gardena school on Monday to see the ESPN Watch List linebacker.

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 Daryle Hawkins Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesOnce a Northern Iowa commit, Omaha, Neb., native Daryle Hawkins switched to Oregon and has been a key player for the Ducks.
The Ducks have never had the benefit of loading up on local players who grew up dreaming of playing for the them. The talent level just isn't there. The truth is, it likely never will be. The Ducks have always recruited California as well as they can be expected to. In recent years, the Ducks have done a great job of going into states not known for producing talent to secure commitments from some players that were mostly overlooked throughout their high school careers .

To continue the series of Oregon's recruiting by state, DuckNation examines the success -- or lack thereof -- that the Ducks have experienced when recruiting the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming over the past decade. While the region is not exactly a recruiting hotbed, the Ducks have been able to land some impact players over the past 10 years.

Here is a look at who they offered, who visited, who they signed and how their careers played out.

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The senior season of one of the fastest rising players in the West during this recruiting cycle came to an end last week after a 28-17 loss to Queen Creek (Ariz.). Kani Benoit (Phoenix, Ariz./Thunderbird), a 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back, had another solid game but it wasn't enough to help Thunderbird advance to the Arizona Division III state championship game.

"It's tough to have it all come to an end like this," Benoit said. "To come so far and get this close and then lose is hard, but I have a great opportunity to play college football and now I have time to concentrate on recruiting."

Benoit has been patient while waiting for his recruitment to take off. Schools such as Boise State, Oregon and Vanderbilt have all been in touch recently, as has local favorite Arizona State. The Broncos, Ducks and Commodores are all waiting for his test scores to come back to ensure that he will qualify. When he gets his scores back Dec. 8, he expects to be getting some offers.

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One of the more remarkable things about the steady rise the Oregon football program is that its home state is never going to be the place from which they stock their roster with talented recruits.

The Ducks have never had the benefit of loading up on local players who grew up dreaming of playing for the them. The talent level just isn't there. The truth is, it likely never will be. The Ducks have always recruited California as well as they can be expected to. In recent years, the Ducks have done a great job of going into states such as Texas and Arizona to secure commitments from some of the state's top players.

Aside from those three, there are other states in the West that produce BCS level players every year. The difference is the numbers aren't there, so coaching staffs must work to uncover some diamonds in the rough.

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Trips on tap for 2014 QB Jake Young 

October, 25, 2012
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When looking for high school football prospects in California, the quarterback position is usually a good place to start. Six signal-callers are ESPN Watch List members, with several more looking to play their way into the discussion. One of those quarterbacks is Jake Young, a 6-foot, 192-pound athlete at Hanford (Calif.) High School.

It has been a tough season for the Bullpups -- 1-8 on the season with one game remaining -- but the dual-threat Young is catching the eyes of college coaches. He has been to several Fresno State home games and made the trip to UCLA's early home win against Nebraska. Boise State, Michigan, Oregon and Utah are several programs that have expressed early interest as well. Young said Boise State, Fresno State and UCLA have been favorites of his for some time.

"Those are schools I've had interest in since I was a little kid," Young said. "Fresno is just 30 minutes north and I love the Boise program. I have a couple of cousins and uncles who went to UCLA. I love the atmosphere of their games."

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Dionte SykesTom Hauck for ESPN.comElite 2014 WR Dionte Sykes is planning a visit to Oregon for the Washington game on Oct. 6.
As one of the premier wide receiver recruits in the west for 2014, 6-foot-3, 200-pound Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler) is gaining more interest every day. The ESPN Watch List member has family connections to a number of schools and grew up following one in particular.

Sykes' father, Kelron, played linebacker at Oregon State in the late 1990s. His uncle, Jashon, played at Colorado until 2002 and returned as the director of football operations after a brief professional career.

Oregon State and Colorado lead the way as two of Dionte Sykes' early offers. For now, Sykes is focused on improving as a player and maximizing his time in high school.

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After a recent rise into the top 10 overall, defensive end Byron Cowart of Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) joins ESPN's Matt Schick to discuss recruiting and the new ESPN 300.Tags: Byron Cowart, Armwood, ESPN 300, RecruitingNation, high school football recruiting, Matt Schick
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