- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
Like everything else with Oregon football, the role of the wide receiver in unique in the Ducks' scheme. The Ducks expect their receivers to block as much, if not more, than running routes and making plays in the passing game.
The receiver position has been cyclical over the past decade, with smaller receivers like Keenan Howry and Samie Parker to begin the decade and bigger receivers such as Jaison Williams and Cameron Colvin at the end of the Mike Bellotti era.
With Chip Kelly about to take over the program, the Ducks fired former wide receivers' coach Robin Pflugrad and went in search of a young, up-and-coming coach to take over the responsibilities of teaching the team-first mentality that Kelly demands from his players.
After meeting with current USC wide receivers' coach Tee Martin, the Ducks hired former Stanford and Nebraska star Scott Frost. Like Martin, Frost was a national championship quarterback in college, which commands respect from players and recruits.
Upon his hiring from Northern Iowa in January of 2009, Frost immediately made an impact when he alerted the Ducks' staff to Northern Iowa commit, Daryle Hawkins. Hawkins has been a solid utility player for the Ducks in his three seasons thus far. For a player that only had a Northern Iowa offer, he has to be considered a nice find by Frost.
Just a week after arriving on campus, Frost helped reel in a solid class that included last year's Rose Bowl MVP, LaVasier Tuinei. After losing two of the top signees from his first class to off-the-field issues, Frost convinced Oregon coach Chip Kelly to offer Portland native and Washington commit, Keanon Lowe in 2010. Upon receiving an offer from the Ducks, the US Army All-American committed to the Ducks almost immediately. Lowe is now a starting wide receiver as a sophomore.
During the 2011 recruiting cycle, Frost was at the forefront of the Ducks' recruiting efforts as the they signed -- on paper -- the best class in school history. De'Anthony Thomas (No. 1 ATH), Devon Blackmon (No. 2 ATH), Tacoi Sumler (No. 11 WR) headlined a group that also included four-star B.J. Kelley (No. 26 WR) and one of the top junior college wide receivers in the country, Rahsaan Vaughn.
Sumler transferred out of the program after one year and Blackmon has yet to make an impact with the Ducks, but Thomas was the Ducks' leading receiver as a freshman and is probably the top playmaker in the nation. Kelley and Vaughn have both shown flashes in their brief careers, with Kelley looking like he could become a star in the future once he gets some more experience.
In his fourth recruiting class, Frost pulled off his greatest recruiting feat, leading the charge as the Ducks swayed Texas native and long-time Texas A&M commit, Bralon Addison to sign with the Ducks in February. Not only did he get the No. 129 player in the ESPN 150 to make the switch, he also convinced Chance Allen -- another Texas native and an Oklahoma State commit -- to sign with the Ducks.
Frost also helped convince Ohio native, US Army All-American and four-star Dwayne Stanford (No. 35 WR) to sign with the Ducks over schools such as local power Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Michigan, among others. Stanford is already seeing a heavy workload as a freshman and appears to be in line for a great career under Frost's tutelage in Eugene.
So far in the Class of 2013, Frost has led the recruitment of Ducks commit Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon) and helped reel in twin four-star athletes Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln). Both of the twins can play either side of the ball, but seem destined for defense in Eugene. Either way, their relationship with Frost helped them feel comfortable should they play on offense in college.
In his four years in Eugene, Frost has helped the Ducks sign six four-star recruits, including five ESPN 150 members, three US Army All-Americans and two Under Armour All-Americans. His impact can be seen on paper when looking at the Ducks' recruiting success, but his impact will truly be measured by the continued improvement of a wide receiving corps that has more talent than ever before.
6dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller
8dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller