Thursday, February 7, 2013
Oregon: 2014 prospects to watch
By Brandon Oliver
With signing day 2013 having come and gone, it's time to turn our attention to 2014 recruits. Here are five players that the Ducks will be targeting for next year's class:
DL Nifae Lealao Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian The ESPN Watch List member has an incredible upside to go with his impressive frame. The Ducks could use a versatile defensive lineman to play inside and out. Lealao likes Stanford early in the process, and the proximity to home might prove too much for other programs to overcome. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Lealao has drawn attention from the likes of Alabama, LSU and Notre Dame, along with most of the Pac-12. The Ducks let Eddie Vanderdoes get away, and signing Northern California's best defensive linemen should be among the Ducks' top priorities every year.
Oregon will have to battle the California school as well as some national powers for Michiah Quick.
ATH Michiah Quick Fresno (Calif.) Central East Quick is the next in line from Central East, following the likes of Brendan Bigelow, B.J. Kelley, Hatari Byrd, L.J. Moore and Johnny Johnson. He is among the best athletes in the country and is drawing heavy attention from schools like Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The 5-11, 170-pound athlete has an impressive offer list, and the Ducks will need to get in on him early to stand a chance.
LB Jordan Hoiem Wailuku (Hawaii) Baldwin The 6-5, 210-pound OLB is one of the best athletes in the west and already has heard from schools from across the mainland. The ESPN Watch List member holds offers from Hawaii, Utah, Utah State and UNLV early in the process but has the entire Pac-12 keeping tabs on him. The Ducks do well on the islands, and Hoiem has Oregon among his early leaders.
QB Manny Wilkins Novato (Calif.) San Marin After calling Oregon his dream school last summer, Wilkins already is being rumored as the potential first commit for the Ducks in the Class of 2014. Oregon will take at least one quarterback, and Wilkins is among the best in the west. If he has a solid offseason and impresses at the Oregon camp, he might jump all over an offer from the Ducks. He has yet to earn that offer, but he has been in touch with Cal, Colorado, Houston, Michigan, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, Utah State and Washington.
DE Connor Humphreys Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic Following U.S. Army All-American defensive linemen Myles Wade, Brennan Scarlett and Alex Balducci, the 6-5, 245-pound Humphreys is the next elite defender to come out of Central Catholic. Humphreys has offers from Oregon State, Wyoming and Portland State, but he likely will be the top in-state player in the Class of 2014. The Ducks have had control of their home state in recent years, and an offer to Humphreys should ensure the trend will continue in 2014.