Monday, January 21, 2013
Recruiting steady despite Kelly's move
By Brandon P. Oliver
The Oregon coaching staff remains mostly intact, and with that, it appears the tumult surrounding the program didn't have any effect some of the Ducks' top targets. With one commit and three targets on campus this weekend, the Ducks seem to have had things under control all along.
DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Alief Taylor), a USC commit, always wanted to visit Oregon, but former coach Chip Kelly wouldn't allow it due to his commitment to the Trojans. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Prevot -- the No. 235 player in the ESPN 300 -- would be a perfect fit at Oregon's drop-end position that is now vacant due to Dion Jordan's graduation.
Chip Kelly's departure allowed USC DE commit Torrodney Prevot to visit Oregon this past weekend.
OL Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial), an ESPN 300 member, also made his scheduled visit despite the coaching turnover and he came away very impressed. The California commit has been through a coaching change before, so the recent events at Oregon didn't seem to have any impact on the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Under Armour All-American.
"The facilities were amazing. The players and the coaches were all great people," said Hunt, the No. 275 player in the ESPN 300. "They have a great program that runs itself no matter who the head coach is. I can definitely see myself fitting in with everyone and everything at Oregon."
Four-star Semper Fidelis All-American LB Zach Cunningham (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) recently visited in-state favorite Auburn, but also made a long-awaited visit to Oregon despite Kelly's departure. The Ducks are in need of another linebacker and Cunningham would be a perfect fit in the Ducks' aggressive defensive scheme. The No. 256 player in the ESPN 300 -- whose mother also fell in love with Auburn -- has visits left to Vanderbilt and Tennessee before making a decision on signing day.
"That doesn't have any effect on Zach. He doesn't know Chip Kelly. He's never met the man," Pinson Valley coach Matt Glover said of Kelly's departure. "The biggest thing for Zach is the comfort level with the program and how he fits in with the school and the football team."
The lone commit on campus was OL Jake Pisarcik (Medford, N.J./Shawnee). Pisarcik was discovered by the Ducks due to his high school coach -- Tim Gushue -- having a previous relationship with Kelly. The Ducks were the first school at any level to offer the hidden gem, who made the switch to offensive line from tight end just prior to his senior season. Pisarcik's visit seems to have sealed the deal for the Ducks and he is excited to sign with the Ducks.
"It was everything I thought it would be," Pisarcik said. "Even though Coach Kelly is gone now, Coach [Ducks' OL coach Steve] Greatwood is still there. I'm excited to be a Duck and getting out there to check it out made it that much more exciting."
The Ducks' need for one or two more commits at both the offensive line and linebacker positions gave this weekend even more importance. Earning a commitment from any of the three uncommitted visitors from the weekend would be a huge step in the right direction as the Ducks try and regain their footing.
With the coaching staff mostly intact and two more weekends for the Ducks to host official visitors, it appears to be more of the same for the Oregon football program.