Oregon Ducks: Northwestern Wildcats


The Opening presented by Nike Football will take place July 7-10 at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, with 162 of the nation's top high school football prospects set to compete. With four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition among the best of the best, The Opening is the perfect chance for recruits in the Class of 2015 to make big jumps and shine on the national stage.

Here are five prospects with the most to gain at the prestigious event:

3-point stance: No help needed

April, 8, 2014
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1. Northwestern has played its hand in the unionization issue beautifully. The university never blamed its student-athletes. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has gone public with his opposition to the union, but has done so with facts and without histrionics. The last thing Northwestern needs is NCAA president Mark Emmert making headlines by calling unionization "grossly inappropriate." Emmert has been an ineffective reformer. He lost a lot of credibility by railroading Penn State before he had the facts. He could best help Northwestern by going on vacation for the rest of April.

2. Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann said it would be great if the Newark Star-Ledger went out of business. Hermann doesn't like what one columnist writes about her. The Star-Ledger last week laid off 167 people in her state. You would think an athletic official who has been accused of verbal abuse in the past would think twice before lashing out. Whatever justification Hermann thought she had to say that, she didn't.

3. I got a tour Monday of the not-quite-one-year-old football building that Phil Knight built for Oregon and I have three words: Oh. Em. Gee. Whatever you heard or read about the spare-no-expense design doesn't do the building justice. Italian leather chairs. German lockers. Brazilian wood floors -- in the weight room. Turkish toilets. (I am leaving a few countries out.) Wall coverings and upholstery of football leather. Hand-painted foosball players. And on. And on. The arms race is over. We have a winner.

Top position classes: RBs 

February, 11, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
Tennessee went into the 2014 class with a gigantic future need at running back, and coach Butch Jones and staff delivered for Volunteers fans in a big way. The Vols' running back haul includes not only ESPN 300 backs Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech) and Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock) but also four-star Treyvon Paulk (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton). With different body types, styles and strengths, Tennessee added talent and depth for years to come as well as many different skill sets within the position. Hurd is tall, lean and chock-full of speed, athleticism and versatility, and Scott is a slasher with excellent ball skills out of the backfield. Paulk is a compact, downhill back with leg drive and power.

The Volunteers had the nation's best RB class; here's which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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What already was an impressive spring for Bobby Okereke (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) jumped up another notch this week, as the 6-foot-1, 213-pound athlete added Oregon and USC to his impressive offer sheet.


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With a top three set a few weeks ago, Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) was setting up visits to his top three in hopes of closing in on a decision.


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Tight end Ian Bunting has top three 

February, 26, 2013
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A top three has emerged for tight end Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central). Two of the latest programs join one of the first atop the 6-foot-6, 200-pound tight end's list.


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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:
Antonio MorrisonCourtesy of UF CommunicationsOregon did its best but could not convince Bolingbrook, Ill., native Antonio Morrison to pick Oregon, as the Ducks have struck out regularly in Illinois over the past decade.
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 Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin over the past decade. While the region is not exactly a recruiting hotbed, the Ducks have been able to land a couple players from Illinois.

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

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One of the top athletes on the West Coast in the Class of 2014 was among the many top recruits on hand for the Oregon-USC game on Saturday night.

Adoree Jackson, Dwight Williams
Blair Angulo/WeAreSC.comAdoree' Jackson (left) and Dwight Williams of Gardena (Calif.) are intrigued with Oregon.
ESPN Watch List CB Adoree' Jackson, Gardena (Calif.) Serra will almost assuredly receive an offer from both of the schools that were on field. With eight offers to date from Colorado, Nebraska, Northwestern, SMU, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Jackson is looking for more. That's not to say he's in a hurry.

"I'm not really too worried about it right now" Jackson said. "I am worried about getting better and helping my team reach our potential."

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Gardena (Calif.) Serra High is well known for putting out wide receivers, but one of the top players in Southern California is on the other side of the field for the Cavaliers.

Junior Adoree' Jackson emerged this spring as he was among the top defensive backs at the Los Angeles NFTC that included elite defensive backs like Max Redfield, Chris Hawkins, Tahaan Goodman, Tyler Foreman and Priest Willis. Onlookers and coaches alike agreed that Jackson was as good as any of them.

"Adoree is ferocious. He is real athletic, has good hips and is more physical than you would think. He has a bright future ahead of him. He will be at the top of his class and can go anywhere he wants," said Michael Fletcher, head defensive backs coach for the NFTC.

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His teammate and USC linebacker commit, Michael Hutchings gets most of the publicity but fellow linebacker Victor Egu (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) has drawn plenty of attention in his own right.

With offers from the likes of Oregon, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Washington, California, Boise State and many more, Egu is preparing to narrow his list down to five in the coming weeks. With 15 offers to date, Egu has cut his list to eight and will cut three more within a couple of weeks.

"Right now I have eight schools in mind and I will be putting out a top five list in a couple of weeks once I determine which five schools I want to continue to look at," Egu said.

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Wide receiver Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon) made the trip to Oregon with one goal in mind. He wanted to earn an offer from the Ducks. Not only did he achieve that goal, but the offer turned out to be too good to pass up, and Carrington immediately committed.

"I didn't want it to pass by and I wanted to take it right away," Carrington said of the offer. "I was going to think about it, but everything they could offer me as a student athlete with the academic facilities, the sports facilities--everything was unreal. I wanted to take it right away."

It was Carrington's first time visiting Oregon's campus, and he said he was blown away by the fact that the reality matched the stories he had been told. He called it a dream offer and is looking forward to finishing his senior season and preparing for his career with the Ducks.

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Two more California standouts will be on their way to The Opening next month, as wide receiver Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon) and offensive tackle Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) received their official invitations on Monday evening.

It has been a phenomenal spring for Carrington -- the son of former NFL player Darren Carrington -- who attends a small school in San Diego, but made a big statement on the camp circuit. Carrington holds BCS offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, California, Colorado, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Washington State among others, and has been hearing from other programs such as Oregon and USC.

"It means a lot," Carrington said of the invite. "For me to go there to compete with the best in the country means that I'm considered one of the best. It's very, very, very exciting."

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Helfrich On Expectations, Upcoming Season
Mark Helfrich talks about handling expectations heading into his second season as Oregon's coach and looks ahead to the upcoming season for the Ducks.
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