- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
As teams around the country prepare for the 2012 season, much of the focus is on position battles and learning new schemes.
Recruiting is also on the minds of college coaches everywhere as they try and put together their 2013 recruiting classes.
Class of 2014 prospects will begin to become household names as they kick off their junior seasons.
After a small senior class in 2011 and another small group departing after the 2012 season, the Oregon Ducks are beginning to evaluate more high school juniors as they will likely sign a full class in 2014.
The defense will take a big hit after both 2012 and 2013, making the 2014 defensive recruits that much more important.
While things change daily in the world of recruiting, here is an early glance at some names Duck fans should get to know. It is still early on, but keep an eye on these rising juniors when looking ahead to the class of 2014.
Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, NY/Poly Prep): The versatile big man holds one of the few offers that Oregon has extended thus far. Could play offensive or defensive tackle at the next level.
Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton): Already holding offers from Nebraska, Washington and Texas A&M, Cunningham has the ideal frame to become the type of versatile linemen the Ducks like.
Malik McDowell (Detroit, Mich./Loyola): A mammoth defensive end, McDowell holds one of Oregon's few offers for 2014, along with offers from all the Big-10 powers.
Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco): One of the top pass rushers on the West Coast, Dorton will have his choice of schools by the time his senior season comes around
Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley): Among the top linebackers in the west in 2014, Lazarus could grow into a solid middle linebacker or be a threat as an outside pass-rusher.
Marquis Ware (Los Angeles, Calif./Salesian): One of the top athletes in the West, Ware fits the Oregon defense perfectly as he could play anywhere from defensive end, linebacker or safety at the next level.
Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra): Williams is undersized, but he is one of the premier players at any position on the West Coast entering his junior season. Leads a loaded class of 2014 at Serra.
Vincent Jackson (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit): The two-way standout is an ideal prospect for the Ducks as he has the size and athleticism to play linebacker, defensive end or tight end. One of the first offers given by the Ducks for 2014.
Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen): Brown has over 20 offers at the early stage, but has expressed interest in Oregon and has reached out to Oregon's coaches in recent weeks.
Marlon Humphrey (Birmingham, Ala./Hoover): One of the top cornerbacks in the class, Marlon is the son of Tide legend Bobby Humphrey. Likes Oregon early in the process along with Alabama, Georgia and others.
Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra): One of the premier cover corners in the country, Jackson grew up in the South and likes the SEC style of play. LSU is an early favorite, but Cal, USC and Oregon will get a serious look.
Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville): Along with the Ducks, the jumbo safety already holds offers from the likes of LSU, Alabama and Tennessee.
Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau): Has Oregon among early favorites. From the same school as Ducks' legend LaMichael James. Could play wide receiver or any of the defensive back spots in college.
Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue): Could easily be a running back in college but is an elite athlete that can play any skill position. Likely the top player in the Northwest in 2014.
As teams around the country prepare for the 2012 season, much of the focus is on position battles and learning new schemes.Recruiting is also on the minds of college coaches everywhere as they try and put together their 2013 recruiting classes.