- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
After spending the weekend in Texas for the Nike Football events, DuckNation received plenty of questions regarding the Elite 11 and the Nike Football Training Camp. Several Oregon targets were on hand, and of them want to hear from Oregon.
With that, the weekly mailbag filled up quickly and we chose questions that we have the answers to.
Michael W. (Oregon City, Ore.): I thought quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) was one of the Ducks' top targets at the quarterback position? It sounds like he did pretty well out in Texas and he looks like he has the right frame to hold up in Oregon's offense. What seems to be the issue? I know he loves the Ducks and they gave him the MVP at their camp last summer. I guess I'm confused!
DuckNation: Wilkins earned MVP honors at the Ducks' camp last summer and plans to attend again this year in hopes of defending that title. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Wilkins has developed a solid frame -- he has the right build to add 20 pounds without any issues. As Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer told us, Wilkins has all the tools but he needs to learn how to utilize everything in his toolbox at the same time to build something special.
Wilkins picked up offers from Colorado State and Wyoming this week and it appears others -- such as Arizona State -- could be on the way sooner than later. The Ducks are still high on his list, but he has not heard from them for some time.
"I'm not worried about it," Wilkins said. "I want to get back in touch with them, but I can only control what I do. If they want me, they'll get back in touch with me."
The Ducks will likely visit Wilkins next month when they hit the road for spring evaluations. They are expected to hit California pretty hard throughout May, and San Marin will likely be one of their stops.
Lionel W. (Denver): Does Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt) have sincere interest in the Oregon program or his he a lock to Texas? In your article it says that he is waiting on offers from Miami and Oregon, but isn't every kid waiting on those? Does he really want to wait to see if they offer or his he just trying to play it up before committing to the Longhorns?
DN: Sure, every recruit wants an offer from Miami and Oregon, but Springs has a legitimate interest in both programs. He likes several of things about both programs and has built a strong relationship with Miami assistant Paul Williams and Ducks defensive backs' coach John Neal.
Springs, an ESPN Watch List selection, is a big fan of the Ducks' aggressive defense and thinks highly of Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. He is very impressed by the fact that Neal has turned the Ducks into a factory for defensive backs. Neal has helped lightly recruited players such as Jairus Byrd, Patrick Chung and Walter Thurmond III become NFL players.
The bottom line is that Texas can essentially hand-pick its class every year and recruits that don't jump on a Longhorns offer right away often get left behind. If Springs was just trying to pick up more high-profile offers before committing to UT, he has a lot of people fooled. That wouldn't be the smartest move, but we'll all know in the not-to-distant future as both Miami and Oregon will likely offer next month.
Matthew T. (Eugene, Ore.): I heard that there are several recruits that will be on hand for the spring game. Is that true? Is that Oregon's version of a junior day? Are there any kids that are expected to commit over that weekend?
DN: Yes, there is a good sized group expected to be on campus for the April 27 spring game weekend. It is a pretty fluid list with some Oregon targets visiting before the spring game and some planning to visit next month. Defensive back Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis) and OL Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) will both be on campus in the next week.
We will get into more detail regarding who will be at the actual spring game once the list is a little more definitive. No commitments seem to be imminent, but don't be surprised if Crosby pulls the trigger on his visit or shortly thereafter.
After spending the weekend in Texas for the Nike Football events, DuckNation received plenty of questions regarding the Elite 11 and the Nike Football Training Camp.