Monday, April 1, 2013
Five tight ends the Ducks could offer
By Brandon P. Oliver
With a roster stocked with young talent and the potential departure of star tight end Colt Lyerla after the 2013 season, the Oregon Ducks are looking to add even more talent to their tight end group in the Class of 2014.
With just one official offer -- to Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Central) -- at the position, the Ducks are doing their research and identifying whom to further pursue. There could be some position changes that create an opportunity to sign more than one tight end in this class, but for now, it looks as if the Ducks will sign a single tight end in 2014.
Here is a look at five tight ends the Ducks are in contact with and could wind up with an Oregon offer by the time their senior seasons come around:
TE-H Dav'ion Riley (Lake Wales, Fla./Lake Wales): There has been some discussion over whether or not the 6-foot-2, 192-pound Riley has an official offer, but we'll include him regardless, because if Oregon hasn't offered him yet, they should. Riley has offers from FIU, Miami and Tennessee, with interest coming from Florida State, Wisconsin and others. The versatile Riley has said he will likely visit Oregon, but might not be able to do so until the fall, when he can officially visit. Riley has the size to be a big receiver or a nightmare match up at tight end. Either way, the Ducks thrive on finding guys like Riley and finding the right spot for them later on.
ATH Marquis Ware (Los Angeles/Salesian): Many see the 6-2, 215-pound Ware as a linebacker in college. While that might be his best bet for the future, he has the skills to play on the offensive side as well. Ware has double-digit offers, including a couple from the SEC. He would like to receive offers from Oregon and USC before making a decision. UCLA is a heavy favorite, but the Ducks could make a move for the two-way star with an offer during spring evaluations.
Tyler Luatua has more than 30 scholarship offers already.
TE-H Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada): The 6-3, 245-pound Luatua has the potential to be a star in college at tight end or at defensive end. Most of the 30-plus schools that have offered -- including Alabama, Florida and Ohio State -- like him on offense. He is one of the top overall players in the country and already possesses a college-ready physique. The Ducks are looking at him on both sides of the ball, but Ducks tight ends coach Tom Osborne has the lead on his recruitment, so the thought is that they like him on the offensive side of the ball as well.
TE-H Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure): The 6-4, 260-pound Dixon comes from one of California's top programs. Unfortunately, the Ducks have yet to have much luck repairing the relationship with the Saint Bonaventure program after pulling an offer from recruit Xavier Ramos in 2008. Dixon is a rare breed for a tight end, especially on the West Coast. If anyone is worthy of spending the time and effort to rekindle things with the Bonnies, Dixon would be the guy. In addition to offers from half of the Pac-12, Dixon holds offers from Florida, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State and Texas A&M, among others.
TE-Y Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah./Bingham): Schultz might be the biggest weapon at the tight end spot in the Class of 2014. He reminds many of former Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, except the 6-6, 225-pound Schultz is more athletic. Having nearly 20 offers, Schultz has a long list of elite programs after him, including Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The Ducks have yet to offer a scholarship to Schultz, who is among the top players in the Beehive State. Schultz plans to take an unofficial visit to Oregon later this spring and will most likely walk away from the trip with an offer from the Ducks. Among the group of tight ends who could potentially end up with an Oregon offer, Schultz is likely the best fit for the Ducks' wide-open offense.