Thursday, January 31, 2013
Recruiting battles loom for Helfrich, Ducks
By Brandon P.Oliver
Mark Helfrich is off to a solid start in his first two weeks as head coach of the Oregon Ducks. Helfrich was able to retain the majority of his staff and to date has been able to gain three new commitments from 2013 recruits.
Under Helfrich, Oregon has added WR Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep), OL Elijah George (Las Vegas/Arbor View), ATH Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and QB Damion Hobbs (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), who flipped from Utah State to Oregon on Wednesday.
The Ducks are likely to take up to five more commits, depending on the decisions of ATH Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon), WR Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) and his twin brother, ATH Tyrell Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln).
There has been a lot of action over the past few days. New offers have been issued and last minute in-home visits are taking place daily.
Former Florida State DE commit Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) recently visited Tennessee and Georgia and will be in Eugene on Friday for an official visit to Oregon. It could be too little, too late for the No. 299 player in the ESPN 300, though, as Georgia is now the favorite. Getting Bellamy on campus is key. Being his last visit is even bigger.
DE Alec James (Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield East) remained committed to Wisconsin after an official visit to Oregon, then canceled a visit to Michigan State before going silent. An unofficial visit to Madison over the weekend sealed the deal for the Badgers, as James plans to stick to his commitment and sign with the Badgers on Feb. 6.
ESPN 300 DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) appears to be near a decommitment from USC, where he has been committed since July. Visits to Oregon and Texas A&M both had a big impact on him, but the in-state Aggies have a big advantage here.
LB Zach Cunningham (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) had his offer pulled by Auburn, which told him there no longer is room for him. The Tigers were a heavy favorite, but it appears Oregon or Vanderbilt will benefit. Cunningham and his family like the idea of staying close to home, and a good visit to Vanderbilt last weekend, coupled with Auburn's decision, makes the Commodores a heavy favorite. Don't count out the Ducks just yet however.
OL Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) is down to Cal, where he is still committed, and Oregon. He will announce his decision on signing day. Hunt would cap an interesting offensive line haul for the Ducks. ESPN 300 OL Evan Voeller (West Linn, Ore./West Linn) is the headliner, but Oregon also has commitments from three prospects with considerable potential.
LB Johnny Ragin III (Wilsonville, Ore./Wilsonville) finally received his long-awaited offer from the Ducks on Tuesday during an in-home visit. After flipping from BYU to Cal last week, the four-star linebacker could make the switch to his dream school during an official visit to Oregon this weekend.
ESPN 150 ATH Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) said this week that he is 50/50 between Oregon, where he has been committed since May, and Ohio State, where he visited last weekend. In a surprise move, the future running back will be on campus at Texas this weekend instead of taking a scheduled trip to Oklahoma State. The Ducks already were in a big battle for the No. 55 player in the country, and a visit to Texas will take things to a whole new level.
Four-star twins, ATH Tyrell Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) and WR Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln), will in Seattle this weekend to officially visit Washington. The Huskies were Tyree's choice before the twins visited Oregon in September, but like Tyrell, he is all about the Ducks now. The Huskies have a big recruiting weekend on tap, so keep an eye on their status. Crazier things have happened.