Monday, March 11, 2013
Oregon targets shine at NFTC
By Brandon P. Oliver
ESPN Watch List WR Dionte Sykes impressed at the most recent NFTC.
The first Nike Football Training Camp of the year took place this past weekend and some of the top players from the region were on hand. There were a number of Oregon targets in attendance and plenty of players list Oregon among their top group of schools.
As they look to continue to be more aggressive with issuing early offers to the top prospects, the Ducks have a lot of talent to choose from in the West region. Here is a list of some of the top performers of the day that either have an offer from the Ducks, have Oregon high on their list, or players that seem to be a perfect fit for what the Ducks are looking for.
CB Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco): The Arizona State commit was impressive once again and validated his recent Oregon offer. Wadood has been picking up steam on the recruiting trail and it's easy to see why. Wadood is a safety in a small corner's body. He has a tremendous skill set and would be an incredible safety if he were blessed with the right size. Oregon offering the 5-foot-9 Wadood is a departure from the Ducks' recent trend of pursuing long and lanky DB's.
CB Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco): Hale, who has seen his recruitment pick up recently, put on a show that earned him an invite to Nike's The Opening over the summer. Hale announced an early top three of Arizona, Cal and USC, but an Oregon offer would likely push the Ducks into the top three for the aggressive CB. After another strong performance, Hale was invited to Nike's The Opening after the end of the camp.
OL Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco): Mama proved once again that his size is just a number. Mama is massive, but is in total control of his body with great feet. Mama has seen his interest skyrocket recently, including nabbing an offer from the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. On the hoof, Mama doesn't look like a typical Oregon offensive lineman, but he is clearly one of the best OL in the country. After edging out the defending MVP for the top offensive lineman on the day, Mama topped it off with an invite to The Opening.
DE Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco): Dorton is an interesting player because he has the dilemma of being labeled as the dreaded "tweener." No matter what he is labeled, the kid can flat out play. Oregon knows just what to do with players like Dorton and they better get on him sooner than later because he is thinking about making an early commitment to Arizona State, USC or UCLA.
OLB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra): Williams once again proved himself worthy of his spot on the ESPN Watch List. Williams won the MVP award for the second straight year with a dominant performance. Williams is bigger and stronger than a year ago and displayed his quickness all day long. He is still just over 200-pounds and he looks like the perfect Oregon linebacker. Williams also received an invite to The Opening.
WR Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler): Like he was last year, the ESPN Watch List WR was spectacular again. Sykes won't wow you with his speed, but he runs good routes and catches everything. He has ties to Oregon and a frame to remain a big wide receiver or could eventually grow into an H-Back or tight end by the time he is in college. Sykes can really play and has a knack for making big plays, tough catches and making good things happen on the field.
OL Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial): Last year's OL MVP was edged out by Mama for the award this year, but there was a heated battle among the coaches as they all believe that Talamaivao is a future NFL player. They're not alone in that sentiment and, with that, the former teammate of Oregon signee Cameron Hunt was given an invitation to The Opening.
RB Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale): Richard was impressive again as he displayed his athleticism, to go along with strong blocking and a fiery competitive nature. He just missed out on the RB MVP award, but it wasn't by much. Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial). Freeman took the honor but Richard made a statement again today.
CB Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial): The 6-foot-2 CB stole the show and took home the MVP award from a group that was considered to be the best group of defensive backs at an NFTC in the last five years. Fisher has no offers but that will change in a big way very soon. UCLA was trying to keep him under the radar but that won't be possible any longer. He is exactly what John Neal has been looking for and has the Ducks among his favorites.