- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
It has become customary for the Oregon Ducks to take their time in evaluating junior prospects, and it is much of the same with the class of 2014.
Another yearly occurrence is that a number of elite prospects from around the country that have their eyes on the Ducks early on. In typical Oregon fashion, the Ducks have yet to extend any offers for the class of 2014.
While they have no commits, the Ducks are listed among the early favorites for a large number of players in the 2014 ESPN Watch List.
In each of the last two recruiting cycles, the Ducks had an early commitment from one of the top in-state recruits. 2013 running back Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) has been committed to the Ducks for almost a year.
There is no Thomas Tyner in the class of 2014. There is also no Colt Lyerla. In fact, there are no Oregon high school prospects on the 2014 ESPN Watch List.
There might not be any elite talent from the state next year but the Ducks have made it very clear that they can compete for elite talent from all over the country.
ESPN Watch List members Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Malik McDowell (Detroit, Mich./Loyola) Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, GA/Liberty County), Jordan Hoiem (Wailuku, HI/Baldwin), Dionte Sykes (Chandler, AZ/Chandler) and Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) are just some of the big names outside of California, the Ducks' most fertile recruiting territory -- that have expressed interest in the Ducks early on in the process.
There are 22 players on the Watch List from the state of California, including a large group of prospects who will likely earn an offer from the Ducks down the line.
Two schools from the Los Angeles area have a pair of teammates on the list. CB Adoree' Jackson and LB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) are two of the most sought-after recruits in the West and will likely see interest come from coast to coast. LB Jamardre Cobb and ATH Marquis Ware (Los Angeles, Calif./Salesian) form another pair of top recruits for Oregon fans to keep an eye on. It will be tough to get any of the four defenders to leave Los Angeles, but Oregon will likely target all four players.
Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) has been in touch with the Ducks early on and likes what he sees. Talamaivao will likely be among the top targets for the Ducks in 2014. QB Josh Davis (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Saint Margaret's) is someone to keep an eye on as the Ducks will look to add a quarterback to next year's class.
Traditionally a strong region for the Ducks to tap into, Northern California has its share of Watch List members, as well. DL Nifae Lealao (Sacramento, Calif./Capital Christian), LB Hamilton Anoa'i (San Mateo, Calif./Serra) and JaJuan Lawson (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) have all expressed interest in the Ducks and should hear from them in the coming months.
It appears to be more of the same for the Ducks in 2014. Unless there is a change in plans or a shift in philosophy, the Ducks will likely start slow and gradually piece together the type of class they want.
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