Friday, February 15, 2013
Oregon recruiting mailbag
By Brandon Oliver
Questions about the Ducks' 2014 targets are starting to pour in.
Shaun A. (San Francisco): Who do you think will be the Ducks' first commit in the 2014 class? Are there any in-state kids worth an early offer that would accept and become the first commit in the class?
DuckNation: There are a couple worthy of an early offer and Mark Helfrich will likely continue the Ducks' recent trend of locking up the top in-state recruits. DE Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) and OLB Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) will both have a lot of early interest and Oregon will likely have offers to both by the time the summer rolls around.
Eddie P. (Gresham, Ore.): Do you really think all the guys you listed in your 'quick hitters' article on Thursday are going to leave early for the NFL? Losing Mamba, 8MM, Lyerla and both corners would be devastating, wouldn't it?
DN: Yes and no. Yes in the sense that De'Anthony Thomas, Marcus Mariota, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Terrance Mitchell and Colt Lyerla are some of the most talented players to ever come through the Oregon program. No in the sense that the program is loaded with more talent than ever. Replacing them all at once would definitely lead to a drop-off, but it wouldn't be as significant as some might think.
Bishard Baker is one of the top 2014 prospects in the Northwest.
DN: They definitely do, and early offers to all of them will only help the Ducks going forward. Oregon is the closest program geographically that has the name and the success to draw players of their caliber. Oregon's style of play is perfect for safety Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue). Known more frequently as, "Budda," Baker is one of the top athletes in the country. Bellevue is a football factory that sends players to UCLA, Michigan, Nebraska, Washington and many other top programs and Baker looks to be among the most talented players to ever come from the school.
Along with Baker, OL Kaleb McGary (Fife, Wash./Fife) and RB Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) make up the top trio of players in the Evergreen State. Any of the three would be a big addition for the Ducks, while also providing another blow to their rivals in Seattle.
Chris U. (Hawthorne, Calif.): Keep up the great work, Brandon and DuckNation! I didn't follow recruiting that much until recently, so I was wondering which recruit switching to Oregon was a bigger deal? Cameron Hunt or Torrodney Prevot?
DN: Thanks Chris! Getting both of the ESPN 300, Under Armour All-Americans to switch from Pac-12 rivals on signing day was a huge coup for the Ducks. Can't really say which is bigger, but the Ducks coaches were thrilled when they received faxes from Hunt and Prevot on signing day.
OL Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) gives the Ducks a newcomer with a legitimate shot to find a spot in the rotation next fall. The Ducks will need Hunt -- or one of the other four freshmen -- to step up and join the two-deep.
Landing DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) was big for several reasons. One, it took him out of USC's once-vaunted recruiting class and added another ESPN 300 recruit to the Ducks' haul. Going into the Houston area and edging Texas A&M for the former Trojans commit, speaks volumes of Helfrich and the rest of the Ducks' staff.
The staff was not only able to convince both Prevot and Hunt to flip from their previous commitments. They also showed the ability to calm the fears of the rest of the Ducks' recruiting class. With all the turmoil surrounding Chip Kelly's departure, possible NCAA sanctions and other distractions that make for an uncertain future, Helfrich and the Ducks deserve a lot of credit for the job they did over the final three weeks of the recruiting cycle.