- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
With the Ducks looking like a near lock to face Kansas State or Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, they have time to rest and recover as they prepare for what will likely be their fourth consecutive BCS Bowl appearance.
In the meantime, the Ducks' coaches have been hitting the road to visit their current commits and check in on their remaining targets for the Class of 2013. Several 2014 targets have been visited as well and it seems the Ducks have plenty of early attention from some of the elite prospects in that class.
With the holidays fast approaching, the mailman has been busy, but not too busy to deliver your questions to DuckNation.
Sandy F. (Redding, Calif.): Are there any off-the-radar recruits or players committed to other schools that you believe will wind up signing with Oregon?
DuckNation: There are several players who could wind up signing with the Ducks who have yet to receive an offer. RB Kani Benoit (Phoenix/Thunderbird) is one to keep an eye on as things progress. If the Ducks are unable to land ATH Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) as their third RB in the Class of 2013, they will likely offer Benoit.
David F. (San Pedro, Calif.): What is the biggest position of need for the Ducks from here on out?
DN: It depends on how you look at it. Linebacker is the biggest position as far as numbers, and likely, importance. The losses of Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso will leave a big hole in the second level. The Ducks are looking to sign three linebackers in this class and have one future linebacker already on board, as Tyrell Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) has committed as an athlete. The Ducks are still pursuing Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood), Peter Kalambayi (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and Zayd Issah (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) for the remaining spots.
Fred C. (Los Banos, Calif.): Darren Carrington Jr. (San Diego/Horizon) had a great year all over the field. Is he for sure playing receiver in Eugene? Who else are they going after to make plays out wide?
DN: Yes, Carrington was outstanding during his senior season. For the first time in his high school career he played most of his snaps at the position he will man for the Ducks, wide receiver. He had some good numbers on the ground and even threw for more than 400 yards in a playoff game as an emergency quarterback. That being said, his future is at wide receiver and the Oregon coaches know it.
The Ducks are still looking good for John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) as he appears to favor Oregon, along with Washington and UCLA. The Ducks are also looking at James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) and to a lesser extent, Marquez North (Mallard Creek, N.C./Mallard Creek). Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) is a dual threat wide receiver/tight end who has the Ducks among his final five schools, along with Notre Dame, UCLA, Washington and Arizona State.
Sterling G. (DeSoto, Texas): Who will make a bigger impact on the Ducks next year between Dontre Wilson and Thomas Tyner? Both are ranked very highly, even though Wilson is listed as an athlete, he is going to play running back in Eugene, isn't he?
DN: Yes, Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) is in line to play running back for the Ducks and fits the style of play perfectly. His speed, agility and awareness make him the ideal fit for the Oregon attack. His versatility as a return man and a receiver out of the backfield -- or the slot -- make him the main candidate to receive a heavy workload as a freshman.
Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) is more of a straight-line runner, and he is actually faster than Wilson based on track times. He is more of a classic downhill runner that will find his place in the offense and be a huge factor for the Ducks in time. Once Tyner gets into space, there are few that can catch him. Oregon gets its guys into space often, so Tyner should see the field early and often. The combination of Wilson and Tyner could be nearly as exciting and productive as LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner were for the Ducks.
15hChantel Jennings and Ted Miller