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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Recruiting Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas

By Brandon P. Oliver

Jordan Holmes
Guard Carson York (right) emerged as an all-Pac-12 player for the Ducks before knee injuries prematurely ended his career.
The Ducks have never had the benefit of loading up on local players who grew up dreaming of playing for the them. The talent level just isn't there. The truth is, it likely never will be. The Ducks have always recruited California as well as they can be expected to. In recent years, the Ducks have done a great job of going into states such as Idaho and Montana to secure commitments from some players that were mostly overlooked throughout their high school careers .

To continue the series of Oregon's recruiting by state, DuckNation examines the success -- or lack thereof -- that the Ducks have experienced when recruiting the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Montana over the past decade. While the region is not exactly a recruiting hotbed, the Ducks have been able to land some impact players over the past 10 years.

Here is a look at who they offered, who visited, who they signed and how their careers played out.

2003
Oregon offered two players from the region, both of whom signed with the Ducks.

Brady Leaf (Great Falls, MT): Leaf wasn't highly recruited, but he is the younger brother of Washington State star Ryan Leaf, so the Ducks brought him in. Throughout his career, Leaf split time with Dennis Dixon until Dixon finally took control of the starting spot in 2007.

Brandon Bair (St. Anthony, Idaho): Bair signed with the Ducks as a TE before deciding to go on a Mormon mission. He later signed with the Ducks again in 2006.

2004
Oregon offered just two players from the region, both of whom chose to sign elsewhere

Pernell Booth (Billings, Montana): Signed with rival Oregon State after visiting Oregon just before signing day.

Brent Russum (Lewiston, Idaho): Russum signed with Arizona State after visiting Oregon in January.

2005
The Ducks extended one offer in the region in 2005. The only player they offered from North Dakota over the past decade decided to sign with Michigan State.

Bobby Jones (Wahpeton, N.D.): Jones signed with Michigan State without ever visiting Oregon.

2006
The Ducks extended two offers in the region and signed one of them.

Cody Hawkins (Boise, Idaho): Hawkins signed with Colorado, where his father, Dan was the head coach, without ever visiting Oregon.

Brandon Bair (St. Anthony, Idaho): Bair returned from his Mormon mission and chose to sign with the Ducks once again. He made the switch to defensive line after being recruited as a TE. In 2010, Bair was an All-Pac-10 player for the BCS-runner up Ducks. Bair signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs after going undrafted.

2007
The Ducks offered two prospects from the region in 2007. They both came from Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and both signed with the Ducks.

Carson York (Coeur d' Alene, Idaho): York was named a Freshman All-American by multiple publications as a redshirt freshman in 2009. In 2010, York was a First-Team All-Pac-12 pick on the offensive line for the BCS-runner up Ducks. York started every game for the Ducks in 2011 – giving him 36 career starts -- before injuring his knee in the Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. After recovering from the knee injury in the Rose Bowl, York was named to the Outland Trophy Award Watch List entering the 2012 season. Unfortunately, he went down with a knee injury early in the season and had his standout career come to an end. York was named to multiple All-Academic, league and All-American teams every season during his Oregon career.

Brandon Hanna (Coeur d' Alene, Idaho): A reserve defensive end, Hanna was a valuable member of a Ducks' defense that helped guide them to three straight BCS bowl berths. In 2011, Hanna was second in the Pac-12 with three fumble recoveries and fourth among Ducks' defensive linemen with 33 tackles.

2008
No offers were extended to any prospects in the region

2009
Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (Boise, Idaho): The Ducks gave Tjong-A-Tjoe a late offer, but after a January visit to Oregon, he signed with hometown Boise State.

2010
No offers were extended to any prospects in the region

2011
No offers were extended to any prospects in the region

2012
Only one offer was extended to a prospect from the region

Cody Carriger (Butte, MT): Carriger perfectly fits the type of defensive player the Ducks have targeted in recent years. Despite minimal interest from other programs, the Ducks offered the 6-foot-6 athlete and signed him to a scholarship in 2012. He is currently a redshirt freshman at defensive end.