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Friday, March 29, 2013
Oregon recruiting mailbag

By Brandon P. Oliver

With spring practice under way for a number of Pac-12 programs, position battles are underway, newcomers are looking to make their mark and some teams will work on keeping everything the exact same. For Oregon, they want to keep everything as is, but they do have a little situation known as a brand-new head coach.

On the field, not much is expected to change with a team loaded with returners on both sides of the ball. Off the field, the Ducks have already changed some things in terms of their approach to recruiting. There are still plenty of questions regarding West Coast prospects and why some have been offered and others have not.

There was a mailbag full of great questions this week, so we decided on a couple of key topics and this is what we came up with. Feel free to read through these while you skip work to watch the Ducks take on No. 1 Louisville in the Sweet 16. As always, submit your questions for next week's mailbag via twitter @BoliverESPN or @ESPNDuckNation.

Jalen Brown
Phoenix Mountain Pointe wide receiver Jalen Brown is one of several Arizona prospects that the Ducks are evaluating.
Clark O. (Clackamas, Ore.): Are there any in-state kids that might be able to throw their name in the hat for an Oregon offer by attending, and shining, at Oregon's camp in June? Who are some of the top in-state kids in this class. I know about the Jesuit kids (Alfieri, Mondeaux) and Connor Humphreys from Central Catholic, but who are the other top kids from the [Portland] metro area? What about the rest of the state?

DuckNation: Clearly, there is no Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) from the state of Oregon in the Class of 2014, but there are some high-level kids with a great shot at earning an offer from the in-state power. Like you said, DE Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic), LB Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), TE/DE Henry Mondeaux (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) headline the state's recruiting class. WR Jordan Morgan (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge), ATH Kenyatta Dunmore (Eugene, Ore./Sheldon) and QB Tanner Sanders (Corvallis, Ore./Crescent Valley) will also among the top recruits in the state next season.

Cliff Y. (Humboldt, Calif.): There is a ton of talent in Northern California this year and the Ducks have strong ties to the area, but Oregon doesn't seem too concerned about getting in on them early. I heard that the coaches will be out West after spring practice is over for spring evaluations. Is there another area where the Ducks have strong ties that the Ducks might put forth a lot of effort and issue some offers? Obviously Southern California has the usual batch of elite talent, but what other state or region will they work hard on evaluating?

DN: Other than Texas, where the Ducks continue to develop strong relationships, Arizona is a state that the Ducks have done very well in as of late. Not only are the Ducks building stronger relationships in the desert, but it comes at a time when the Grand Canyon State is producing more elite talent than ever before. The Ducks have been able to land a number of top recruits from the state's elite programs and they are actively pursuing a large group from the Phoenix metro area's top programs in the Class of 2014.

The Ducks are recruiting a number of targets from the state, including WR Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), safety J.R. Hunt (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), OL Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton),  LB Santana Sterling (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), DE Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), OL Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial), DE Jalen Jelks (Phoenix/Desert Vista), WR Jalen Brown (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) and ATH Tyler Whiley (Scottsdale, Ariz. Chaparral).

The expectation is that after spring practice, the Oregon coaches will make the rounds across the west, including stops throughout the states of Arizona, California and Nevada. With the number of targets in the three states, it is safe to assume that the Ducks will wind up issuing offers to anywhere between 10-20 recruits during the spring evaluation period.