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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Cardinal continue to be thorn in Ducks' side

By Brandon P. Oliver

This past season, Stanford walked out of Autzen Stadium with Oregon's national title hopes ruined. The Cardinal are also a nemesis for the Ducks on the recruiting trail.

One of the Ducks' top remaining targets in the Class of 2013 appears to be heading for Palo Alto, Calif., instead of Eugene, Ore., and another is visiting this weekend.

Four-star DE Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) was scheduled to visit Oregon this weekend but had a change of plans. On Sunday, the ESPN 300 athlete gave his verbal commitment to the 2012 Pac-12 champions.

Ducks offensive line target Thomas Oser (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) was also in Palo Alto this weekend. Until now, Oser had only visited Oregon officially, but his trip to Stanford and a scheduled trip to Vanderbilt could push Oregon out of the race for the three-star lineman's signature.

Hooper was being recruited by most schools as a tight end, but his commitment could help the Ducks with their newest TE target. Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton) -- a former Texas Longhorns commit -- has been expected to commit to Stanford, but Hooper's pledge could give the Ducks an advantage. Smythe will be in Eugene next weekend and would be a nice, unexpected addition to the Ducks' class. Smythe was at Stanford this weekend and has visits scheduled with Oregon (Jan. 18) and Michigan (Jan. 25).