NCF On The Trail: Oregon Ducks

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

January, 27, 2015
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It was a busy weekend in the conference, as 14 prospects made commitments between Friday and Monday night and several others backed out of Pac-12 recruiting classes. It looks as though this could be a sign of things to come, as the conference recruiting race is heating up with little more than a week until signing day.

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It's tough to imagine a more exhausting and stressful conclusion to a recruiting process than the one Iman Marshall orchestrated. Over the past 10 days, Marshall has taken official visits to Florida State, LSU and Michigan, as well as hosted several coaches at his home and school. But just like on the football field, the nation's No. 4 overall prospect doesn't appear to be fazed at all by what's being thrown at him.

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Pac-12 recruiting class breakdowns

January, 26, 2015
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Here's a look at how programs in the Pac-12 are faring on the recruiting trail heading into national signing day on Feb. 4.

Arizona

Commitments: 28

ESPN 300 commitments: 1

Who they have: The Wildcats hit it big with their top two commitments in ESPN 300 offensive tackle Keenan Walker and ESPN JC 50 defensive tackle Anthony Fotu. Arizona also will add four-star tackle Cody Creason, three-star tackle Harper Sherman and three-star guards Alex Kosinski and Nathan Eldrige to the offensive line. There are a number of skill players on both sides of the ball, including running backs Orlando Bradford and Darick Holmes Jr., cornerbacks Shun Brown, Anthony Mariscal, Samuel Morrison and Dane Cruikshank, wide receiver Cedric Peterson and athletes Antonio Parks and Brion Anduze.

Who they want: There aren't many spots left in this class for the Wildcats, but there are a few important names left on the board. The wide receiver spot could see another addition with Jaylinn Hawkins, though rival Arizona State will put up a fight there. Arizona also will look to continue its run of success in Louisiana, as teammates Arthur McGinnis and Darrell Clark (New Orleans/Warren Easton) are two of the top prospects left for the Wildcats, as well as teammates of Arizona commit Kendal Franklin.



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ESPN 300 prospect Holton Hill is one of only three elite cornerbacks remaining on the board in the 2015 class, and that means coaches are doing all they can to land his commitment.


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Four schools remain in the mix for ESPN 300 defensive tackle Rasheem Green. Arizona State, Miami, Oregon and USC will battle all the way until signing day for the nation's No. 41 prospect. With two weeks to go and one visit left, things are heating up for the big lineman.


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ESPN 300 receiver Van Jefferson is no longer committed to Georgia and the news was definitely disappointing for the Dawgs. So who’s in the driver’s seat now for the one of the best receivers in the country?


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By a conservative count, more than two dozen true freshmen made significant impacts for their teams during the 2014 season, with players such as Oregon running back Royce Freeman and USC do-it-all talent Adoree' Jackson stealing headlines all season. The possibility of earning playing time as a true freshman is now a recruiting pitch that must be used by every coach across the country. Pac-12 prospects are taking advantage, as seemingly more and more young players are making impacts each year. Looking ahead at the 2015 season, here are 10 prospects committed to Pac-12 programs who could make their presence felt on the field as true freshmen.


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Top recruiting targets in the Pac-12 

January, 16, 2015
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With a little more than two weeks before signing day, a number of uncommitted prospects remain who could greatly alter both the college football landscape as well as the way recruiting classes are perceived on Feb. 4. Remaining “must get” recruits don’t check all the same boxes for every program, as some schools already have commitments from their must gets (for example, Arizona with Keenan Walker, or UCLA with Josh Rosen) and some of these prospects won’t exactly break a class if they don’t wind up there. But whether it’s keeping a local prospect at home, landing a five-star standout or filling a position of need, these are the uncommitted must-get recruits for every Pac-12 program between now and signing day.


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The newest and final ESPN 300 was released on Thursday, and eight Pac-12 programs are represented by 34 commitments. Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State all have multiple commitments in the list, with USC's 12 leading the way, followed by Oregon's six. Here are some news and notes regarding the most recent update and how things stack up in the Pac-12.


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Top early enrollees: Pac-12 

January, 14, 2015
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Pac-12 fields will be littered with early enrollees this spring, as prospects look to get a jump on acclimating themselves to the rigors of being a student-athlete at the college level. While every year there are true freshmen who enroll in the fall and become immediate impact players, there is no denying that an extra semester on and off the field gives those recruits who enroll early an advantage when it comes to making impacts their first year. Here is a look at five Pac-12 early enrollees:


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Top 10 instant-impact recruits in 2015 

January, 14, 2015
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With signing day a few weeks away, early enrollees already on campus and the national championship game in the books, which teams are reloading with talent that can hit the field and make an immediate impact?

Here are 10 committed prospect who have the chance to contribute early and often in the 2015 season:


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The first College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T went off with a bang. Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 and captured the attention of recruits across the country.

Recruiting targets for both Oregon and Ohio State took to social media to express their feelings. Here’s a look at recruit reactions from both sides of the championship game.

OREGON


While Oregon took its lumps on the field against Ohio State, a terrific season and simply earning a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship earned the Ducks plenty of respect from their commitments and recruits.

Offensive line commitments Calvin Throckmorton and Brady Aiello both took to Twitter to state their excitement in joining the Oregon program later this year.

Fellow offensive line commit Shane Lemieux took a moment to comment on quarterback Marcus Mariota. Lemieux likely won't be able to suit up with Mariota next year in Eugene, as he is likely to make himself available for the upcoming NFL draft. Speaking of quarterbacks, Oregon's 2015 commitment at the position, Travis Waller, was feeling upbeat before the game. Afterward, Ohio State commit Justin Hilliard made sure Waller remembered the bet they made last week, where the loser must wear the school colors of the winner. Not surprisingly, Waller took the bet in stride and fell in line with much of the other Oregon commitments, looking forward to getting to work on next season. Waller could eventually be joined by Oregon's 2016 quarterback commitment, Seth Green, who also was looking forward following the game. Oregon safety commit P.J. Locke is already looking forward to the second College Football Playoff. One of Oregon's top targets on the board for the 2015 class is No. 7 overall prospect Iman Marshall, who apparently was a fan of the uniforms the Ducks sported for the game. Marshall hasn't given many hints as to where he's headed next year, but the Ducks are one of his finalists and their ability to pitch him the fact that they just played in the final game of the season could resonate through signing day. Oregon has done very well with skill-position prospects in the past few years and would appear to be the favorites for several standouts down the road. ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Dylan Crawford and 2017 star receiver Tyjon Lindsey both let it be known who they were pulling for during the game.

There might be some disappointment from Oregon fans and within the Oregon program in the immediate aftermath of the loss. And while there's no denying that Ohio State will receive a much deserved recruiting boost from the big win, the Ducks will still be able to generate their share of positive momentum during the march toward signing day.


OHIO STATE


The Buckeyes rolled in the championship game in what is sure to bring more positive momentum to recruiting for Ohio State. In fact, the coaching staff even picked up a few commitments before and after the game.

The biggest commitment came from ESPN Junior 300 running back Kareem Walker, ranked No. 5 overall in the 2016 class. Walker committed to Ohio State before the game, and tweeted at halftime that he was committed to the Buckeyes.

If that weren't enough, Ohio State also picked up a commitment from 2017 Florida prospects Shaun Wade and Bruce Judson. Walker hails from New Jersey and is part of a big crop of elite prospects in the area. His commitment to Ohio State could have an impact a few other East Coast prospects, including ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Reaction to the game as coming in via social media at an astounding rate. Commits and recruits were all watching Ohio State's impressive performance. The current commitments took the opportunity to show the pride in their decisions, as Branden Bowen tweeted a picture of himself throwing up the Block O. Some of the commitments, including five-star Torrance Gibson, took some time to congratulate Oregon on its effort in the game. Gibson is headed to Ohio State to play quarterback, so it was only natural he recognized Oregon's Mariota after the game. Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones and his crazy journey to his place in the history books didn't go unnoticed, either. ESPN Junior 300 defensive back Robbie Robinson tweeted how impressive Jones has been. By the end of the night, recruits from across the country had seen a spectacular performance with a third-string quarterback, new starters on offense and a youthful team. There is a lot to be excited about for the future on the field and on the recruiting trail. ESPN Junior 300 prospect Brad Hawkins capped the night with a tip of the cap, and like most other recruits, will now be thinking of Ohio State as national champions again.
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After taking just one official visit before the dead period began, it looked as though it would be difficult for No. 7 overall prospect Iman Marshall to take all five of his official visits before signing day. But the 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback revealed his plan Friday morning to fit four official visits into a three-week span.


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Ohio State and Oregon have different recruiting philosophies, but both have made it work on the way to an appearance in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T.


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OU coach Bob Stoops fired co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell on Tuesday, and the moves might help the Sooners get new life on the recruiting trial.


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