Oregon Ducks: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Some news and notes from Day 2 at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

Ducks and Bruins battle for McGraw

The fight for the nation's No. 194 prospect is down to Oregon and UCLA, as those two programs are the last standing for safety Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian). And perhaps surprisingly, whoever wins this recruiting battle will have a former USC star to thank.


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DALLAS -- The idea of playing the recruiting game by ear seems to be coming to an end for ESPN 300 defensive back Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne).

Watkins has made it a priority to direct his undivided attention to being a leader for his team. The nation’s ninth-ranked cornerback and the No. 62 player overall is now ready to bring noticeable focus to his recruiting process -- and, ultimately, ending it. While he still hasn’t announced a favorite publicly, Watkins said he and his family have talked about narrowing down official visits -- and as many as nine teams have a shot at landing an official visit during the fall.


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Heading into spring ball, defensive tackle Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero Serra) was looking for his first offer. Heading into his summer vacation, he's one of the West region's hottest prospects.

It happened quickly for the 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman. He hadn't heard from many schools during a junior season in which he posted 42 tackles and 1.5 sacks, but everything changed once the calendar flipped to March.


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Not much has developed recently in the recruitment of four-star athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), but that figures to change in the coming weeks.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver/safety has not made too many recent recruiting visits, but he will begin doing that this summer before working toward a decision.

“I’m in the same place except it’s closer to summer, so I’ll take a bunch of unofficial visits and see which ones are best for me,” Nicholson said, “and then as soon as I can take my officials I will and my decision will be after I take my officials.”


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TEXAS CITY, Texas -- These days, it's all smiles for ESPN 150 receiver Armanti Foreman.

Life is good for the Texas City (Texas) High School star. Offers are coming left and right. He's preparing for a banner senior season with his twin brother, 2014 running back D'Onta Foreman. He's enjoying the final weeks of his junior year of high school. On Tuesday, Armanti was sprinting past defensive backs and juking defenders out of their shorts, showing the playmaking ability that has so many colleges at his doorstep.


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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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LOS ANGELES -- When thinking of West Coast running backs in the Class of 2013, the conversation usually starts and ends with Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom). While Mixon has the offers and the reputation to back it up, another elite back in the Golden State is gaining momentum on the recruiting trail.


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Oregon keeping tabs on in-state talent 

February, 12, 2013
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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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Ducks flip ESPN 300 OL Cameron Hunt 

February, 6, 2013
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The Oregon Ducks added their fourth ESPN 300 member and their fifth offensive lineman when former Cal commit Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) confirmedthat he had flipped to the Ducks.

The No. 276 player in the ESPN 300 joins OL Evan Voeller (West Linn, Ore./West Linn) as the second Under Armour All-American in the Ducks' 2013 class. Hunt officially visited Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and Cal after former Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford was fired and former Bears' OL coach Jim Mahalczik left for Arizona.

What is the impact of Hunt's decision?


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Ducks flipping the script on Cal? 

February, 4, 2013
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Over the past decade, Oregon and California have gone back and forth, on and off the field. While the Ducks have dominated the Bears on the field of late, that hasn't stopped Cal from winning a number of high-profile recruiting battles.

The programs haven't gone head-to-head often in the Class of 2013, but the Ducks are looking to take make a big impact on their class by putting a dent in Sonny Dykes' first recruiting class at Cal.


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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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Four-star TE takes in The Farm 

January, 13, 2013
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Four-star tight end Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) visited Stanford last February, but he didn’t get a chance to see much of anything. Smythe was able to get a full description of what the campus and Palo Alto, Calif., had to offer during his official visit over the weekend.


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With the stretch run of the 2013 recruiting cycle playing out right before our eyes, transfers, commitments and some seemingly innocuous events could put some programs in prime position to finish with a bang. Things that wouldn't be a blip on the radar of most fans could wind up turning the tide of a school's recruiting class.

For the Oregon Ducks, a couple of things that happened thousands of miles away in recent days could help them with two of their remaining targets.

Junior college quarterback Tanner McEvoy (Yuma, Ariz/Arizona Western) is in Eugene on an official visit this weekend. He has said publicly that the Ducks, along with West Virginia, are the two programs he will choose from.


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Ducks No. 2 in Way-Too-Early Top 25

January, 8, 2013
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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.

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ESPN 300 Ranking Motivates Byron Cowart
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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