Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Ducks temper expectations on big names
By Brandon P. Oliver
Every recruiting cycle there are dozens of names tossed around as recruits who could potentially wind up as Oregon Ducks. While the Ducks have become a high-profile program with a national brand, there are some targets who should still be looked as extreme long shots to wind up in Eugene.
As recruits look to find the right fit, racking up as many offers as possible is the goal for many. An offer from a high-profile school such as Oregon can have a recruit taking to social media and showing excitement for all to see. In this day and age, all it takes is the simple misinterpretation of an online post for a full-scale rumor to gain traction.
Over the years, Oregon -- which has become an elite destination for official visits -- has been rumored to be in the mix for some of the nation's top recruits. Some have visited and even publicly named Oregon as one of their favorites afterward.
Here are some of the names that Oregon fans should -- for various reasons -- not take as seriously in the 2014 recruiting cycle.
Wide receiver Demarre Kitt has an Oregon offer, but Ducks fans shouldn't hold their breath on trying to lure the standout from Georgia across the country.
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala,/Hoover): Humphrey has always mentioned the Ducks as a school of interest, but as the son of a former Alabama star, any out-of-state school gaining Humphrey's signature would be seen as a huge upset. The ESPN Watch List cornerback recently tweeted a photo of himself with an invite to Oregon's football camp, which caused a slight stir. He sent the photo to Oregon wide receiver signee Devon Allen, causing many Ducks fans to dig around to find out more. In all likelihood, there is nothing more to see.
CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen): Brown reached out to the Oregon staff last summer to begin a relationship with one of the schools he had genuine interest in. Brown is among the top players in Texas and the country, so pulling him away from the power programs in the Big-12 and the SEC seems out of reach. The ESPN Watch List cornerback has a legitimate interest in the Ducks, but not enough to give Ducks fans any real hope of prying him away from programs such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama or LSU.
WR Demarre Kitt (Sandy Creek, Ga./Tyrone): The ESPN Watch List wide receiver tweeted out the fact he received an Oregon offer last month, causing many to wonder why he would do so if he didn't have a legitimate interest. Kitt has too many offers from much closer to home to give Oregon a serious look.
ATH Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Carr): Noil has been referenced as someone that Oregon has a good shot at despite where he hails from. Don't bet on it. The ESPN Watch List athlete has offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State and Texas, all of which are much closer to home for this dynamic athlete. Noil has interest in the Ducks but, like many other elite targets from SEC country, the odds of him making it out West are slim to none.
DL Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola): As one of the elite defensive linemen in the country, McDowell has been a primary target of the Ducks from the jump. Midwest linemen with the size and athleticism of this ESPN Watch List member don't escape the grasp of Michigan, Notre Dame or Ohio State very often. Should McDowell venture far from home, he will likely be destined for the SEC. McDowell is the type of elite lineman the Ducks need to join DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead to form an elite group that can compete with the SEC up front. The Ducks will have to look elsewhere, however, as McDowell won't be heading to Eugene.
ATH Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra): Jackson is among the top athletes in the country and also doubles as a track and field sensation. On the surface Oregon seems to be the perfect fit, but the Ducks don't have a great relationship with the Los Angeles area power school. By not offering Jackson and a couple of his talented teammates while SEC schools such Florida and LSU have, the Ducks have very little chance. Jackson has roots on the East coast and in the South and grew up rooting for LSU.