Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Oregon Recruiting: Quick hitters
By Brandon P. Oliver
Concord, Calif., linebacker Victor Egu was a late addition to the official visitor list for the Washington game. By all accounts, his visit to Eugene went well.
The success Oregon has had in signing athletes from Texas has been well documented. What isn't as widely known is the success of the players the Ducks have signed from other areas.
The starting rover for the Ducks this year, Brian Jackson, signed with the Ducks out of Alabama powerhouse Hoover High School. Jackson was overlooked by SEC programs but has turned into an impact player for the No. 2-ranked Ducks.
In this recruiting cycle, the player who fits the mold of an under-appreciated athlete from outside of the West Coast is Juwaan Williams, Tucker (Ga.) High School.
Williams is more sought after than Jackson was out of high school -- offers from Florida State, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Clemson prove as much. That being said, with no offers from LSU, Alabama, Georgia or Florida, Williams could become the next overlooked player from SEC territory to head west.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Williams was in Eugene over the weekend and was blown away by what he saw. He still has official visits to Clemson, Florida State and Vanderbilt ahead of him, but the Ducks made a great impression on the three-star and his mother.
Making a good impression on a recruit's mother is imperative when her son is looking at a school more than 2,000 miles away. The Ducks did that this weekend. Time will tell how the impression stands up over time.
Ducks' running back commit, Dontre Wilson DeSoto (Texas) also brought his parents along on his official visit. Like Williams, Wilson got the necessary stamp of approval from his.
"I had been up there with my dad in the spring, and we both knew it was a great fit," said Wilson, the No. 51 player in the ESPN 150. "This time, I had to make sure my mom liked what we saw."
Wilson has held firm in his pledge to the Ducks since committing in May and signing on the line seems like a formality at this point.
"It was everything I remembered it being, and more," said Wilson, the No. 5 athlete in the country. "If anyone else is still recruiting me, I wouldn't know it. I'm all Oregon."
Like Williams and Wilson, four-star athlete John Ross of Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan, made his long-scheduled official visit to Eugene over the weekend. Ross has strong ties to the Washington program and stated ahead of time that he had plenty of reasons to visit Oregon for the UW game.
Ross has been quiet on the recruiting front, but Oregon, UCLA, Nebraska and Wisconsin all seem to trail the Huskies at this point.
While Williams, Ross and Wilson were all known visitors going into the weekend, the Ducks got a surprise official visit from linebacker Victor Egu of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle.
Egu had an unexpected open weekend and decided to check out the Ducks -- a program he has always held in high regard -- up close.
"I'm glad I made the trip when I did," the four-star Egu said. "A night game at Autzen Stadium, against a big rival -- it was an amazing experience."
Class of 2014 teammates Dionte Sykes and J.R. Hunt (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), were both in town and were also blown away by what they saw.
"It was an amazing trip. Everything about the Oregon program is incredible," Sykes said. "You see how fast they really are when seeing them play in person. The whole atmosphere from the town to the crowd was crazy too."