Oregon Ducks: Austin Hooper

Spring position breakdowns: TE

February, 28, 2014
Our look at position groups in the Pac-12 continues.

Arizona: Terrence Miller was listed on the team's depth chart as a tight end, but he wasn't a traditional tight end. After catching 40 passes for 467 yards in 2013, he's out of eligibility. Former quarterback Josh Kern backed up Miller and is one of four tight ends listed on the roster.

Arizona State: Chris Coyle (29 catches, 423 yards, 4 TD) is a big loss for the Sun Devils and his primary backup, Darwin Rogers, also is out of eligibility. De'Marieya Nelson and Marcus Washington are the most experienced of the four tight ends on the roster, which will grow by one with the addition of recent signee Brendan Landman. Landman is expected to redshirt after playing left tackle during his senior year in high school.

California: There is no tight end position in Cal's offense, which was a factor in Richard Rodgers' early jump to the NFL. Rodgers was switched from tight end to wide receiver last season upon coach Sonny Dykes' arrival.

Colorado: Senior Kyle Slavin is atop the depth chart after catching nine passes in 2013. Sean Irwin played minimally as a freshman, but his role is set to increase. Three other tight ends are on the roster, including Connor Center, who did not play football in high school.

[+] EnlargePharaoh Brown
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesOregon's Pharoah Brown made 10 catches, two for touchdowns, in 2013.
Oregon: The Ducks have a trio of players who gained significant experience in 2013 in Pharaoh Brown, Johnny Mundt and Evan Baylis. Brown started five games, Mundt had a 121-yard receiving game and Baylis started in the Civil War game against Oregon State. Koa Ka'ai and Davaysia Hagger will provide depth, but they don't appear on track to make much of an impact on the depth chart.

Oregon State: With Connor Hamlett and Caleb Smith both returning, the Beavers arguably have the best tight end tandem in the conference. Hamlett had 40 catches for 364 yards and Smith added 25 for 343 yards. Kellen Clute (19 catches, 159 yards) also contributed to the passing game and Tyler Perry, who will be a fifth-year senior, is an important run-blocker.

Stanford: A one-time strength of the Cardinal, tight ends weren't a significant factor in Stanford's offense in 2013, but the staff is hopeful that an influx of new players will change that. Stanford signed No. 1-ranked TE-Y Dalton Schultz, and he'll compete for playing time immediately. Greg Taboada, Eric Cotton and Austin Hooper -- all well-regarded tight end recruits -- are coming off redshirts and will compete with Charlie Hopkins, who started three games last season.

UCLA: There is no traditional tight end at UCLA, but Y receiver Thomas Duarte, who was recruited as a tight end, is coming off an exceptional freshman season. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Orange County native appeared in all 13 games and tied a school freshman record with three touchdown receptions.

USC: Losing Xavier Grimble early to the NFL is a blow and just two other scholarship tight ends remain from last season: Randall Telfer and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. One of the nation's top tight ends, Bryce Dixon, signed with USC, but he wasn't among the group of four early enrollees.

Utah: The Utes were the only school in the country to send two tight ends -- Jake Murphy and Anthony Denham -- to the NFL combine, though Utah listed Denham at receiver. Siale Fakailoatonga, a former walk-on, was Murphy's primary backup on the final depth chart, and he caught two passes for 18 yards in 2013. Harrison Handley redshirted last season after enrolling early last spring and is a candidate to compete for playing time.

Washington: John Mackey Award winner Austin Seferian-Jenkins' departure for the NFL was expected, and how the Huskies replace him will be an interesting process. Clearly, there's not a one-man solution for what they'll lose with Seferian-Jenkins, but the combination that the returning players provide is a nice mix of different talents. Michael Hartvigson and Josh Perkins have the most experience at tight end, but they should receive a push from Darrell Daniels and David Ajamu. Daniels, a highly-regarded receiver recruit who switched to tight end, was a special-teams standout in 2013 as a freshman, while Ajamu redshirted.

Washington State: Washington State didn't list any tight ends on the roster last season, but early enrollee Nick Begg will start his career listed there. The long-term plan for Begg is likely elsewhere.

Previous positions
Running back
Offensive line

Oregon recruiting quick hitters 

January, 15, 2013
With the 2013 recruiting cycle winding down, new rumors are popping up regularly as recruits and programs shuffle their plans in order to explore all of their options before signing day. Here is the latest news surrounding Oregon's recruiting efforts as signing day fast approaches.

This past season, Stanford walked out of Autzen Stadium with Oregon's national title hopes ruined. The Cardinal are also a nemesis for the Ducks on the recruiting trail.

One of the Ducks' top remaining targets in the Class of 2013 appears to be heading for Palo Alto, Calif., instead of Eugene, Ore., and another is visiting this weekend.

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It was quite a week for the Oregon Ducks. They earned a huge Fiesta Bowl win, saw several of their top targets commit elsewhere and -- maybe you heard -- nearly lost their head coach to the NFL for the second year in a row.

[+] EnlargeCameron Hunt
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comCameron Hunt is still committed to Cal but will be visiting Oregon on Jan. 18.
After a wild week of ups and downs, things are back on track as Chip Kelly decided on Sunday night to return to Eugene in 2013. Despite the distractions, recruiting rolls on despite missing on some key targets. TE Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) and WR John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) were the only two the Ducks had a real shot at, so missing on them -- in addition to S Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), WR James Quick (Louisville, Ky/Trinity) and LB Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood)-- threw a wrench in Oregon's recruiting efforts.

So where do the Ducks go from here?

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ESPN 300 DE Hooper near decision 

January, 1, 2013
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- With a strong performance during the first two days of practices for the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, one of the top uncommitted prospects in the West is showing why he is a member of the ESPN 300.

DE Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) has been one of the stars for the standout defensive line that the West squad is featuring this week. After helping De La Salle capture yet another California state title two weeks ago, the versatile Hooper has shown good quickness, hands and a motor that doesn't stop during the first two days of practice.

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Oregon recruiting quick hitters 

January, 1, 2013
On Thursday night, the fourth-ranked Oregon Ducks will take on the fifth-ranked Kansas State Wildcats in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Thursday is also a big day for the Ducks -- as well as every other program around the country -- as the recruiting dead period will end when the clock strikes midnight.

[+] EnlargeThomas Duarte
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comThomas Duarte is expected to make his college choice during Friday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Once coaches are able to contact and visit recruits again, expect a flurry of activity from the Ducks' coaching staff. With a few of the Ducks' top remaining offensive targets announcing at various All-American games it seems likely that the first kids they will contact are ATH Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa), WR John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) and TE-Y Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei).

Ross and Duarte -- two of the elite offensive weapons in the West -- both confirmed Monday that they will announce their college choice during the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Friday. Both four-stars have the Ducks among their finalists. Both players also have UCLA and Washington in their final group as well, with Duarte also considering Notre Dame.

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Tales from the road: De La Salle 

December, 18, 2012
Michael HutchingsBlair Angulo/WeAreSC.comMichael Hutchings is committed to USC, but is expected to take a visit to Washington in January.
Editor's note: HuskyNation's Mason Kelley is in Northern California this week, visiting top prospects and potential Washington targets. Click here for all of his updates.

CONCORD, Calif. -- Michael Hutchings and Austin Hooper had similar plans.

There were times when the senior standouts at Concord (Calif.) De La Salle wanted to remove themselves from the recruiting process.

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DE Austin Hooper lets 'euphoria' settle 

November, 13, 2012
For Austin Hooper, it is time to take a step back.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) spent the weekend on an official visit to Washington and has been riding a wave of “euphoria” since he returned home.

Now he needs to take time to see if that feeling is the trip talking or something that could send a signal that he is coming closer to a decision.

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Oregon recruiting mailbag 

October, 19, 2012
It was a wild week for the Ducks, as they lost one of the best players to ever come out of the state of Oregon, only to get him back 36 hours later.

[+] EnlargeThomas Tyner
Quavondo/ESPNHSThere were understandably a lot of questions about RB Thomas Tyner this week after he decommitted and recommitted to the Ducks in a span of three days.
On Tuesday, the No. 104 player in the ESPN 150 and the top player from Oregon, Thomas Tyner -- Aloha (Ore.) High School -- decommitted from the Ducks, whom he had been committed to since last November.

On Thursday, the No. 11 running back in the country decided not to take any other official visits and recommitted to the Oregon staff.

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It's Friday. Not only does that mean the Oregon Ducks face the Washington Huskies tomorrow in a huge rivalry game, it also means it's time for the DuckNation mailbag. You asked, we answered ...

[+] EnlargeJuwaan Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comGeorgia prospect Juwaan Williams is one of the recruits the Ducks still have their eyes on.
Christine U. (Manhattan Beach, Calif.): If the Ducks beat the Huskies for a ninth straight time, will any of their commits realize that Oregon is the place to be, not Washington?

DuckNation: If it ends at eight or goes to nine, I don't think it will change much either way. The fact is Oregon has dominated of late and UW, while improved, has a long way to go. But that hasn't deterred kids from committing to the Huskies this year. Kids make their choices based on a number of things. Winning isn't always on top of the list.

Larry L. (Hawthorne, Calif.): Who are the Ducks' top remaining targets? Are they going to get any defensive linemen?

DuckNation: The Ducks are still after some big names, and others likely will emerge in the next few weeks. There are already some rumors floating about committed prospects trying to get in touch with the Ducks.

The Ducks want to grab another offensive lineman and, right now, Thomas Oser (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) seems like the best shot.

Two-way athlete Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) will be in Eugene this weekend and has always held the Ducks in high regard. He would be a great piece to add as he fits the mold as someone who can play both ways.

As far as defensive linemen go, it's still anyone's guess. There are a couple of targets out there, but the players who sign with the Ducks in February may not have even popped up on the radar yet. The most likely of the current targets to sign with Oregon is Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle). Like most De La Salle players, Hooper will wait until after the season to dive into recruiting.

Marcus M. (Corvallis, Ore.): With the hot start by the Ducks and the Beavers, do you think the state might become more of a football hot spot if both teams continue to play at a high level?

DuckNation: I don't think a couple wins by the Beavers is going to turn the state into a recruiting hotbed. There has been improved in-state talent over the past decade, and the success of both programs can certainly take some of the credit. If Oregon State, with half of the fan base, can stay consistent and avoid 3-9 seasons, football will stay on the mind of everyone in the state -- likely resulting in a greater emphasis being put on the game the entire year.

Jon R. (Wilsonville, Ore.): Why can't the Ducks land any elite receivers that also have size?

DuckNation: Define elite. Dwayne Stanford, who is every bit of 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, is getting a lot of playing time as a freshman. Stanford was a U.S. Army All-American and chose the Ducks over schools like Ohio State, Michigan and others.

To be a wide receiver for Chip Kelly, blocking is every bit as important as receiving. Finding players to fit the style that Kelly likes to employ is a difficult task. While there have been no All-Americans, the Ducks have been able to find a way to make it work.

What's left for the Ducks? 

October, 4, 2012
Tyree Robinson, Tyrell RobinsonBlair Angulo/WeAreSC.comAfter getting commitments from Tyree Robinson (left) and Tyrell Robinson recently, expect Oregon to devote most of its remaining 2013 recruiting resources to defense.
After snaring commitments from twin brothers Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln) last week, the Oregon Ducks now have 11 verbal commitments for the class of 2013.

With a roster full of young talent, the Ducks will likely only sign 17-19 players in February.

Even if both twins wind up on defense, the Ducks' class is still heavy on offensive prospects. Of the remaining spots, expect two-thirds of them to be filled with players that will likely wind up on defense.

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Evan VoellerTom Hauck/ESPNHSEvan Voeller (pictured) and Alex Redmond have Oregon's offensive line recruiting off to a good start.
With a roster stacked with young talent, scholarships are at a premium for the Ducks as they look to fill out the remainder of their 2013 recruiting class.

With just 10 seniors on the roster last season, the Ducks had a relatively small, 21-person class in 2012. Three freshmen, defensive end Arik Armstead, quarterback Jake Rodrigues and tight end Evan Baylis arrived in the spring and counted towards the 2011 class.

Attrition allowed for more scholarships to be offered as the early departures of Darron Thomas and LaMichael James opened up two more scholarships, as did the medical retirement of Justin Hoffman. Tra Carson and Tacoi Sumler transferred out of the program, adding two more spots.

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Marquel CombsCourtesy Pierce CollegeThe Ducks have recently shifted their attention to Ole Miss defensive tackle commit Marquel Combs.
With a run of seven commitments in the span of six weeks ending July 2, Oregon was on a recruiting roll. Since that time the Ducks have been stagnant while USC and Washington have cleaned up.

Oregon has never been a fast starter in recruiting. Heading into the season with eight commitments is the norm for the Ducks. With many of their top prospects off the board, the Ducks have had to regroup and move some targets up their board.

Quarterback: The Ducks will likely stick with what they have and are in pursuit of quarterbacks for the class of 2014.

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Pac-12 Teams Can Load Up At WR
Recruiting reporter Erik McKinney joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to break down the deep West Region wide receiver class in 2016.