Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Oregon recruiting: Quick hitters
By Brandon P. Oliver
Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Stanford Cardinal, the No. 5 Oregon Ducks need to regroup in time for this week's showdown with in-state rival No. 15 Oregon State. The loss to the Cardinal sent shock waves across the college football landscape, but it doesn't appear to have done much in terms of shaking up the Ducks' recruiting efforts.
The Ducks' rule of not offering or hosting official visitors committed to other schools seems to have a familiar pattern to it. In recent years, coach Chip Kelly has been against it until late in the recruiting cycle. So against it that many elite prospects have taken themselves off of the Ducks' radar with an early commitment to another program. As signing day approaches each year, Kelly and the Ducks seem to loosen their stance.
Two of the nation's top players were on campus as official visitors despite their current status as commits to USC and Stanford.
The No. 14 OT in the nation, USC commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) had a good feeling despite the loss. The No. 224 player in the ESPN 300 told WeAreSC.com reporter Blair Angulo as much after his visit on Sunday.
"I'm still committed to USC, but Oregon is back in it," Falah said. "It was a good game. Despite the loss, coach Chip Kelly and his staff were really positive in the locker room. I liked that."
Another committed visitor who was on campus made the trip to see the Ducks take on the program he has been committed to since June. LB Peter Kalambayi (Matthews, N.C./Butler) is one of Oregon's top remaining targets. Despite his commitment to Stanford, the nation's No. 17 OLB has kept in close contact with the Oregon staff.
While he has yet to be admitted to Stanford, it appears he likely will be down the line. Should that fall through, the Ducks seem to be in prime position moving forward with the No. 278 player in the ESPN 300. Kalambayi plays things close to the vest, but all indications are that his official visit to Eugene made his decision a lot tougher, regardless of his status with Stanford.
The No. 79 player in the ESPN 150 was also on campus over the weekend, and the Ducks seem to have made a good impression on him as well. Five-foot 9, 192-pound Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) is a dynamic running back who seems to be the perfect fit for Kelly's offense. He visited No. 1 Notre Dame last month and appears to be leaning towards the Irish for now.
The No. 9 athlete in the nation hasn't given any indication of how his visit to Eugene went, but his willingness to travel to Eugene from South Florida should be encouraging for fans.
Two of the nation's top running back recruits -- both of whom were trying to visit Eugene last weekend -- were still alive in their state's playoffs and wanted wait until their seasons concluded before making the trip.
RB Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage), the No. 41 player in the ESPN 150, had a solid game on Friday, but his 79 yards and two TD couldn't push Hermitage past Chesterfield (Va.) L.C. Bird. With Green's season now complete, look for the nation's No. 4 RB to schedule an official to Eugene within a few weeks.
The No. 32 player in the ESPN 150, RB Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) helped Norcross to an easy 34-7 win over (Chattahoochee, Ga./Chattahoochee). The nation's No. 5 RB -- who recently named Oregon as one of his top three schools, along with Alabama and Georgia -- will most likely wait until after his season to make the long trip out to Eugene.
Like Green, Notre Dame commit Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) postponed a scheduled visit to Oregon due to a playoff schedule conflict. Mead fell to Auburn (Wash.), 21-7, on Friday night, ending Mattingly's high school career. He said last week he will reschedule his official visit to Oregon within a few weeks after the conclusion of his season.