It has been an interesting week for the Oregon Ducks. From naming a starting quarterback, potentially getting a transfer, official visits being set up by top recruits and the season opener against Arkansas State, it's fair to say that things are heating up in Eugene.
With a flurry of activity surrounding the program, it is now time to open up the mailbag and answer your questions.
Mike L. (Portland, Ore.): With Marcus Mariota being named the starter, it leaves Bryan Bennett with three years left as a backup. Like Mariota, freshman Jake Rodrigues and Jeff Lockie both have four years left. Bennett has said he's staying, but I could see him or one of the freshmen leaving this season. Should the Ducks turn their quarterback recruiting up a notch for 2013?
DuckNation: As of now, Bennett is staying. If he were going to leave, now would be the time. I don't think anyone could blame him for leaving but he knows that there is plenty of opportunity for him to shine at Oregon.
The Ducks will certainly keep an eye on potential quarterback prospects, but spacing out players at a position like QB is very important. With three freshmen and a sophomore, it is a hard sell to bring in another top quarterback. When one of the freshmen is the starter, it makes it even tougher.
Jeff L. (Corvallis, Ore.): Being stuck in Beaver country is the worst! Their fans constantly rag on me saying that the Ducks are only good because they cheat by buying players. I know we are being investigated but I think we win because of our speed, talent and coaching. Do you think the Ducks have only succeeded because of shady recruiting practices?
DN: No. The Ducks are being investigated over their relationship with Willie Lyles. If someone can provide proof that the Ducks 'bought' players, that would be news to everyone. The Ducks were good before Lache Seastrunk signed with the program, they were good while he was there for one year and they are good now that he is at Baylor. He never touched the field, so I don't see how his signing with the Ducks provided any kind of help on the field.
The only other issue the Ducks have had is during junior-college running back, J.J. Arrington's recruitment. The Ducks received a short probation even though Arrington went on to star at Cal.
If Arrington had gone to Oregon or if Seastrunk beat out LaMichael James and they both set records in leading the Ducks to the BCS, there might be an argument. Neither happened.
Lawrence T. (Sacramento, Calif.): Is missing out on Eddie Vanderdoes the biggest 'miss' in Oregon recruiting in some time? Who are the top realistic targets left for the Ducks this year?
DN: While seeing Vanderdoes verbally commit to USC stung a lot of Oregon fans, the Ducks are moving right along. Vanderdoes would have been a huge get for the Ducks, but Oregon's defense is looking as good as ever, including along the defensive line.
Last year alone, the Ducks signed three high school All-Americans on the defensive line in Arik Armstead, Alex Balducci and DeForest Buckner. In addition to those three, Taylor Hart, Sam Kamp, Tony Washington, Ricky Heimuli, Wade Keliikipi, Jared Ebert, Christian French, Stetzon Bair and Cody Carriger are all set to come back in 2013.
Landing Vanderdoes would have been a huge get, but not reeling him in is far from a disaster.
It is fair to consider brothers Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln) as the most important targets left for the Ducks. There are higher rated prospects on the board, but the versatility of the two-sport stars makes them an ideal fit for the Ducks football team. Dana Altman would be thrilled to have them on the hardwood as well.