Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Oregon recruiting: Quick hitters
By Brandon P. Oliver
It has been an eventful week already for the Oregon Ducks, preceded by a solid performance in Saturday's spring game. The Ducks hosted several recruits on the weekend and made a strong impression on each of them. On Tuesday, the momentum kept up as the Ducks nabbed their third commitment for the Class of 2014.
Despite getting little to no sleep due to illness, QB Morgan Mahalak (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) worked out for a handful of coaches on Tuesday morning at his school, including Ducks offensive coordinator Scott Frost. All that stood between the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Mahalak and his dream offer was Frost's approval.
Like the other coaches in attendance, Frost walked away from the session so impressed that he told Mahalak he would call after talking to coach Mark Helfrich. It wasn't long before Frost called Marin Catholic coach Mazi Moayed to tell him the Ducks wanted to offer his quarterback. Mahalak already knew that he would commit to the Ducks, but managed to contain his excitement until the afternoon, when he called the staff and let them know he was on board.
Along with Mahalak, Class of 2013 signees Cameron Hunt, Chris Seisay, Tyree Robinson and Tyrell Robinson, the Ducks hosted two of the top players in the Northwest at the spring game. Class of 2014 linebackers Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) and Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) both fit the bill for Oregon's needs, as each is a talented athlete with good size and loads of talent.
Downs has more than 10 offers, and the Ducks' desire to add size at linebacker makes him a prime target moving forward. Alfieri, the state's top two-way player, said that rumors about Oregon State being the clear leader due to family connections to the program are misleading. He was impressed with everything he saw in Eugene. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete spent time Saturday with Jesuit alum and Ducks WR Keanon Lowe, and he said Lowe had nothing but great things to say about the program.
Keep an eye on Downs and Alfieri, as they are the top two-way athletes in the Northwest aside from Bishard "Budda" Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue). Neither holds an Oregon offer at this point, but both are likely to wind up with one.
ATH Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) remains committed to Arizona State -- where his older brother Rashad Wadood plays -- but admits that he might have jumped the gun.
"I felt comfortable there but I only had three offers at that point and didn't know what else might come my way," Wadood said. "Now that I've gotten, like, 10 more offers, I feel like I need to check out some other places."
Where the Ducks come into play has to do with not only De'Anthony Thomas -- whom Wadood has known since they were young kids -- but the fact that Oregon was Wadood's favorite team growing up. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete is the only player from a loaded Bosco squad to hold an Oregon offer. Most programs, including Arizona State, are recruiting him at defensive back, but Oregon likes him as a potential playmaker on offense in a role similar to Thomas. Wadood said the Ducks will be at his school Thursday to check in with him and his teammates.