- Brandon P. Oliver, Reporter, DuckNation
With a fifth straight win in the series -- their third straight in Corvallis -- the Oregon Ducks made it abundantly clear that they are clearly the best program in the state of Oregon and the Northwest. Saturday was the third time in five years that the Ducks have ripped a BCS bowl from the Beavers' grasp and now have a complete stranglehold on the series.
The Ducks have five straight wins against in-state rival Oregon State, nine consecutive against Washington and six straight against Washington State.
Oddly enough, the Ducks don't go head-to-head with Oregon State or Washington State very often for recruits.
Oregon State has signed just a small handful of players that were also offered by the Ducks. The two biggest being senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton and freshman center Isaac Seumalo. Wheaton -- who's cousin is Oregon legend Kenny Wheaton -- was a lock to be a Duck until Oregon fired wide receiver coach Robin Pflugrad and defensive line coach, Michael Gray, who was Wheaton's main recruiter. Seumalo went to high school in Corvallis and his brother Andrew is a senior on the Beavers' defensive line. Seumalo's father Joe, is the Beavers' defensive line coach, making it nearly impossible for any school aside from Oregon State to sign the younger Seumalo.
Aside from those two unique situations, it has been a rare occurrence for the Beavers to beat out their bitter rival for any other recruits in recent years.
In the Class of 2013, the Beavers were the first to offer in-state prospects Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore./Aloha), Doug Brenner (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), Brayden Kearsley (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) and Johnny Ragin (Wilsonville, Ore./Wilsonville) . So far, Tyner and Brenner have committed to the Ducks after being offered first by the Beavers. Ragin has seemingly ignored the Beavers' offer and has been in Eugene multiple times this fall in hopes of gaining an offer from the Ducks.
Kearsley committed early to BYU, but is currently flirting with Oregon State because the Ducks, his life-long favorite haven't offered due to his commitment to the Cougars. If the Ducks were to offer Kearsley due to the recent decommitment of Alex Redmond (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos), they could be tough to beat for his signature.
Aside from the four in-state recruits, the two programs have offered numerous recruits, some of which are still eying both the Ducks and the Beavers. Junior college defensive lineman, Sione Sina (Elk Grove, Calif./College of San Mateo) visited Oregon earlier this fall and was in Corvallis for the weekend
Another recruit -- with an offer from both schools -- that also visited was WR John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan). Ross appears to be down to the Ducks, UCLA and his long-time favorite, the Washington Huskies. The four-star was in Eugene when the Ducks beat the Huskies for the ninth straight time. His trip to Corvallis this weekend allowed the Ducks to once again show off against one of the other schools the dynamic wide receiver is considering.
Among the many recruits that both schools have offered, but are not seriously looking at the Beavers are TE Thomas Duarte (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), WR Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep), OL J.D. Hinnant (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley) and DE Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle). Duarte, Hinnant and Hooper all have plans to visit Oregon in the coming months.
The 6-foot-, 190-pound Allen has an Oregon State offer but instead of visiting Corvallis, he will visit the Eugene with an offer as a walk-on, due in large part to his interest in the Ducks' track and field program. With the recent transfer of WR Devon Blackmon to Washington, the Ducks could wind up offering Allen if they are unable to land Ross, James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) or any of their other top targets.
The bottom line is that the Ducks control the region on the field and -- despite Washington's recent recruiting surge -- on the recruiting trail. The Cougars and the Beavers go head to head quite often on the recruiting trail. The Huskies are much more of a threat to the Ducks in recruiting despite their stalled progress on the field.
All three schools have put money into facilities, coaches and recruiting budgets in an effort to keep up with the Ducks. Just like on the field, the Ducks offer a much more attractive product to high school recruits and it shows when signing day arrives each February.
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