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Friday, December 7, 2012
Oregon recruiting mailbag: Dec. 7

By Brandon P. Oliver

Gareon Conley
The decision to stop recruiting Gareon Conley could be one Oregon regrets.

There has been a high volume of activity surrounding the Ducks' recruiting efforts in the past week. Some good, some bad and some, just plain weird. The Ducks dropped two of their top targets, added three new offers and reached out to USC CB commit Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) once again.

You asked. We'll answer. It's time once again for the Oregon Ducks recruiting mailbag.

Sam I. (Encino, Calif.): What are the Ducks thinking by telling Max Redfield and Gareon Conley to look elsewhere? Two of the best, two-way players in the country, both of whom love the Ducks and our staff tells them they're moving on? Can you explain this?

DuckNation: Sort of. Stopping the pursuit of two of the top overall athletes in the country will always raise an eyebrow. Doing so when both of them have you in their top three schools is something no one can really understand. With Oregon's seemingly random recruiting approach, there is a saying among fans, "trust the coaches." The Ducks obviously have a method to their madness due to their recent recruiting success. In this case, trusting the coaches might be the best thing to do. It is highly unlikely that the Ducks would quit recruiting guys like Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) and Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) without good reason.

The Ducks have to feel good about getting ATH Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) or S Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) to join ATH Chris Seisay (American Canyon, Calif./American Canyon) and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln) in the Ducks' defensive backfield of the future. Of course, the Ducks are always good for a completely out-of-the-blue commitment or two late in the process.
Henry H. (Lake Oswego, Ore.): With Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) finally decommitting from Notre Dame, who has the best chance at landing him. Will he stay in the Northwest and be a Duck? A Husky? Or will he head for the blue skies of Miami (Fla.) or UCLA?

DN: It's tough to say at this point as Mattingly plays things pretty close to the vest. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound ATH has already visited UCLA, Washington and most recently, Miami (Fla.). This weekend he'll be in Tempe (Ariz.) to check out the Sun Devils' program up close. Then next week (Dec. 14), the four-star LB will make a long-awaited trip to Eugene to officially visit Oregon. Mattingly previously rescheduled an official visit he had planned to Oregon due to the state playoffs. Mattingly has eliminated Notre Dame and will choose between the five schools that he will have visited officially. Oregon, UCLA and Washington figure to be the three to beat in this race.

Arusi T. (Portland, Ore.): Do the Ducks have a shot at flipping Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) or Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial), or getting Alex Redmond (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos) back on board?

DN: Falah is still likely to end up with USC, the school he has been committed to for months. His visit to Oregon did seem to open his eyes a bit however. Now, Washington is making a late push for Falah and could join the race. Ultimately, it seems as if Falah will remain with the Trojans.

Hunt -- who has been committed to Cal for months -- was just offered this week by the Ducks when OL coach Steve Greatwood stopped by to see the ESPN 300 member at his high school. He seems to be sticking with the Bears for now, but if Bears' offensive line coach Jim Michalczik doesn't remain on staff under new head coach Sonny Dykes, Hunt could open things up and give the Ducks a serious look.

Redmond told DuckNation he is still eyeing the Ducks, but UCLA and Washington seem to have a lot of his attention right now. The Bruins have yet to offer but it seems like that is just a matter of time. It would be a huge signing for the resurgent UCLA program, and a huge loss for the Ducks.

Daveed F. (Redding, Calif.): Can Stanford keep this up? They are doing better on the field than ever before and its recruiting seems to be at an all-time high. How has the Cardinal’s rise to prominence affected Oregon?

DN: It hasn't had much effect on Oregon, unless you want to count that game in Autzen Stadium last month. That was the second time in 11 years that Stanford has beaten the Ducks in Autzen to knock the Ducks out of national championship contention.

Despite all of its success, Oregon has a better overall program that has better staying power in the Pac-12. Stanford has beaten the Ducks for a few recruits, including two elite offensive linemen -- that the Ducks could have really used -- in the Class of 2012. This year, the Cardinal are fighting to stave off the Ducks in their pursuit of Cardinal LB commit, Peter Kalambayi (Matthews, NC/Butler).