Monday, February 4, 2013
Ducks flipping the script on Cal?
By Brandon Oliver
Over the past decade, Oregon and California have gone back and forth, on and off the field. While the Ducks have dominated the Bears on the field of late, that hasn't stopped Cal from winning a number of high-profile recruiting battles.
The programs haven't gone head-to-head often in the Class of 2013, but the Ducks are looking to take make a big impact on their class by putting a dent in Sonny Dykes' first recruiting class at Cal.
The Bears have signed a couple of players from the state of Oregon in recent years and currently have one of Oregon's top targets on board as a verbal commitment. Both programs have done a good job of holding their ground despite losing the most successful head coaches in their programs' histories. The Ducks have made a strong push for two of Cal's top commits, and it appears their efforts will be rewarded with signatures on signing day.
OL Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial)
The No. 283 player in the ESPN 300 committed to Cal in July. He was all set with the Bears until former head coach Jeff Tedford was fired. Despite Tedford's dismissal and the loss of former Cal OL coach Jim Mihalczik -- whom Hunt calls a "father figure" -- Hunt remained committed to the Bears. Even late offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oregon didn't sway him.
The No. 15 guard in the Class of 2013 kicked off a whirlwind January by participating in the Under Armour All-America Game. Next, Hunt took visits to rivals Michigan and Ohio State. While he was in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines accepted a commitment from another offensive lineman, giving them seven offensive line commits. In Columbus, Hunt was tempted by Urban Meyer and the resurgent Buckeyes' program but left without committing. The following weekend, Hunt took a visit to Eugene, Ore., and was blown away. His relationship with Ducks' line coach Steve Greatwood has grown quickly in recent weeks and it has given the Ducks a big edge in the race for his signature.
While Hunt remains publicly committed to the Bears, he has a lot to think about. In fact, Hunt already has alerted the staffs at both Cal and Oregon of his decision. The Bears have a solid offensive line class, but it appears the Ducks will flip their top target at the position. Oregon likely will receive a fax with Hunt's signature come Wednesday morning.
ATH Johnny Ragin III (Wilsonville, Ore./Wilsonville)
After committing to BYU -- the first program to offer him -- in December, Ragin started picking up more interest from BCS programs. One of those programs was Cal, which offered just two days before Ragin gave his commitment to the Cougars. After officially visiting Cal in mid-January, Ragin flipped to the Pac-12 program. Despite his commitment to the Bears, there has always been one program that could change everything by issuing the four-star Ragin a long-awaited offer.
When the Ducks called and scheduled an in-home visit last week, the No. 4 player from the Ducks' home state had an idea what was coming. The in-home visit brought the offer Ragin has always dreamed of, and he scheduled an official visit for this past weekend. Ragin had other obligations, so his time in Eugene was limited to just one day, but that should not be a concern, as Ragin has spent many a weekend on campus on unofficial visits.
Like Hunt, Ragin has not said anything publicly and likely will wait until signing day to make his decision known. By now, Ragin likely has informed the staffs at both Cal and Oregon of his decision, It's a good bet the Ducks will land his signature.