- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
One of the more remarkable things about the steady rise the Oregon football program is that its home state is never going to be the place from which they fill their roster with talented recruits.
The Ducks have never had the benefit of loading up on local players who dreamt of being Ducks. The truth is, they never will. The Ducks have always recruited California as good as they can be expected to. In recent years, the Ducks have done a great job of going into states like Texas and Arizona to secure commitments from some of the state's top players.
To continue the series of Oregon's recruiting by state, DuckNation examines the success -- or lack there of -- that the Ducks have experienced when recruiting the state of Arizona over the past decade.
This installment will cover Oregon's latest recruiting hotbed, Arizona. The Ducks have signed a total of eight players from Arizona in the past decade, with all of them signing in 2007 or later. Two of them were junior-college players, both defensive linemen who turned into great finds for the Ducks.
Arizona: Marcus Thomas
Arizona State: Kyle Caldwell
Washington: Mike Mapu
Overview: The Ducks hosted Caldwell, Thomas and Mapu in the fall of 2002 and heavily pursued Caldwell until the very end. On signing day, the Ducks were unable to sign any of the three players from the state that they offered.
Arizona State: Myrio Davis, Andrew Pettes, Uriah Marshall
Stanford: Benjamin Muth
UCLA: Justin Hickman
Overview: Of the five BCS signees, only Pettes and Hickman visited Eugene. Pettes took a late visit but committed to ASU the following week. The Ducks were unable to sign any of the players from the state that they offered.
Arizona: Daniel Borg, Xavier Smith, Terry Longbons
California: Cody Jones
San Diego State: Mekell Wesley
Overview: TE Cody Jones was the only player with an Oregon offer to visit Eugene. The Ducks were unable to sign any of the five players from the state that they offered.
Arizona State: Jermaine Williams
Overview: The Ducks only offered Williams, a defensive end. Williams signed with Arizona State without visiting Oregon.
Arizona State: T.J. Simpson
Nebraska: Jaivorio Burkes, William Yancy, Eric Hagg
Oregon: Will Tukuafu
USC: Everson Griffen
West Virginia: Alric Arnett
Overview: Griffen was a top target but signed with USC after visiting Oregon, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame. Arnett and Simpson both visited before signing with West Virginia and Arizona State, respectively. The Ducks found a three-year starter in junior-college transfer Will Tukuafu, who is now in the NFL.
Arizona State: Gerell Robinson
Oregon: Dion Jordan
Stanford: Harold Bernard
Overview: The Ducks were in the mix until the end for Robinson, a U.S. Army All-American. He eventually signed with Arizona State. Looking back, the Ducks clearly signed the best player in the state, as Jordan is currently an All-American candidate for the Ducks as a senior. He came in as a hybrid wide receiver-tight end and now seems destined for an NFL career as an outside linebacker.
Arizona: Adam Hall
Arizona State: Corey Adams
Michigan: Taylor Lewan
Oregon State: Markus Wheaton
USC: Devon Kennard
Overview: Hall and Wheaton were the only two to visit Oregon during the cycle. Wheaton was long considered an Oregon lock based on the fact that his cousin Kenny Wheaton made the most famous play in program history, "The Pick." After his recruiters were both fired, Wheaton chose to sign with the rival Beavers. As a senior, Wheaton has exploded and appears headed for an NFL career.
Arizona: Marquis Flowers, Kyle Benson
Oregon: Nick Rowland, Isaac Remington