- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
After a long, slow period on the recruiting front, things are heating up for the No. 2 Oregon Ducks. While most of the news is tentative, there is some recent confirmed news. With No. 52 overall (No. 5 ATH) Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) -- a future Ducks running back -- and No. 90 overall (No. 11 RB) Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) already in the mix, the Ducks are working to add even more weapons to their future backfield.
One of the nation's premier running backs -- Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage), No. 41 overall (No. 5 RB) -- was scheduled make his official visit to Eugene this weekend, but has postponed his visit due to a scheduling conflict. Green recently cut Virgina Tech from his list of favorites, which is now made up of Michigan, Auburn, Tennessee, Oregon and Miami (Fla). Green is a bruising runner that is more LaGarrette Blount than LaMichael James. The Ducks would love to add a bigger back to this class, and Green is their top option in that regard.
Like Green, Notre Dame commit Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) postponed his official visit to Eugen due to a conflict with Mead's playoff schedule. Again, like Green, Mattingly maintains that he will visit Oregon, but will do so after his season has been completed.
The Ducks have become a premier destination for hybrid running back/slot receivers that can make plays all over the field. With Wilson already committed, the Ducks are now hot on the trail for the top two uncommitted all-purpose running backs in the ESPN 150.
At No. 36 overall (No. 4 RB), Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) has always had the Ducks in his top group. Oregon has always been the extra (sixth) school in his top five, but the 5-foot-11, 192-pound back continued to add them whenever he discussed his top group. Now it appears that list of six has been cut in half. It has always looked as if it will come down to SEC powers Alabama and Georgia for Kamara's signature -- and it's likely that it will still play out that way -- but Oregon is now a part of his top three. In fact, Kamara said he is scrambling to try and set up a visit to Oregon this weekend for the Stanford game.
While he is listed as an athlete (No. 9 Ath), Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) is the epitome of an Oregon running back. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, the No. 79 player in the ESPN 150 is fast, quick, explosive and tough. Folston -- who has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others -- visited Notre Dame last month and came away impressed. Folston has been fairly quiet when it comes to his recruitment, but his high school coach, John Wilkinson, confirmed that he will fly out to Oregon on Saturday morning for his official visit.
Someone has to block for the running backs, right? Unfortunately for everyone involved, offensive line target J.D. Hinnant (Fountain Valley, Calf./Fountain Valley) will not be making his long-scheduled visit due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident last week. Hinnant is on the path to recovery, but his future -- at least in terms of college football -- is still up in the air. In his place, the Ducks will break their own rule and host a commitment from another school.
Offensive lineman Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and the Ducks mutually agreed to cancel an official visit earlier this season due to his commitment to USC. The Ducks appear to have softened their stance on Falah despite Falah maintaining that he is solid with the Trojans. The No. 224 player in the ESPN 300 -- who always said Oregon is the one out-of-state school he wanted to visit -- will finally have the opportunity to check out the Oregon program this weekend.
Along with Tyner, Oregon tight end commit John Mundt (Modesto, Calif./Central Catholic) will be on campus for official visit. The rival Washington Huskies continue to make a push for Mundt, but he remains firm in his commitment to the Ducks and to not taking official visits to other schools.
Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) officially visited Michigan this weekend -- his second time on campus -- and came away impressed with the Wolverines and the atmosphere surrounding the program. He has now visited Michigan, Oregon and Vanderbilt officially and has official visits scheduled to Florida State (Nov. 23) and USC (Dec. 7).
After a long, slow period on the recruiting front, things are heating up for the No. 2 Oregon Ducks. While most of the news is tentative, there is some recent confirmed news.