NCF On The Trail: Oregon Ducks

Another wild week in Pac-12 

December, 19, 2014
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The Pac-12 and the West region are capable of producing some wild weeks during the lead-up to signing day, with so many prospects in the area waiting until that day to make their commitment and rivals going after so many of the same prospects.

Early Offer: Hokies score super sleeper 

December, 16, 2014
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Once again, Frank Beamer has landed an under-recruited prospect with “unlimited potential.” Plus, how much progress has been made by the committee looking into whether or not there should be an early-signing period?


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 16, 2014
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It was a busy weekend in the Pac-12, with commitments, offers, visits and awards touching nearly every team in the conference, including Stanford, USC and Washington reeling in big commitments and UCLA hosting impact prospects. Here is a look at some of the more impactful events of the past few days, as well as a glimpse of what this week could hold in the Pac-12.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 9, 2014
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The Pac-12 North made for an intriguing recruiting weekend for the conference, as it lost a head coach, gained a handful of commitments and hosted the No. 5 prospect in the country. With the regular season finished, a greater emphasis on recruiting will be felt between now and signing day and the Pac-12 wasted little time making things interesting.


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Pac-12 season recruiting superlatives 

December, 9, 2014
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It was another entertaining season in the Pac-12, as Oregon made its mark on the North, while the South was largely determined by two Hail Marys. But while fans got their money’s worth from the action on the field, the happenings on the recruiting trail during the year made an impact as well, marked by big commitments, misses and surprises. Here’s a look at the Pac-12 recruiting superlatives, based on events that took place during the season.


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Go ahead and debate who should have been in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but there’s no debating Bama, Oregon, FSU and OSU dominate in recruiting.

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Since 2006, Oregon's recruiting classes have never finished better than No. 18 in the country. Since 2008, the Oregon's football program has never finished worse than No. 11 in the country, including three straight top-four finishes from 2010-2012.

That discrepancy gave rise to the mantra that the Ducks recruited to their system, rather than recruiting the best available prospect. Their rise to the top of the Pac-12 was done by recruiting under rocks and around corners to find "system" guys that wouldn't work at any other program.

Plenty of that on-field success came via California prospects that weren't recruited by UCLA or USC; players such as Kiko Alonso, Kenjon Barner, John Boyett and Josh Kaddu were all members of Oregon's 2008 class. But since the 2011 group entered the fold in the middle of Oregon's run of Pac-12 championships, the idea that the Ducks only go out to find their own type of recruit slowly started being pushed into the background.


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Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

December, 5, 2014
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The regular season might be over, but that just means the recruiting season will be heating up, and the Pac-12 will host at least two significant weekends. Also, the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect is scheduled to be on a Pac-12 campus this weekend

Colorado


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 25, 2014
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While there were a number of important visitors at every Pac-12 game this past weekend, the Rose Bowl took center stage as UCLA hosted a number of official and unofficial visitors in what was the hottest ticket of the year for Southern California recruits. UCLA kicked off its strong weekend with a commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, while Oregon hosted a junior college standout committed to another Pac-12 program. This upcoming weekend presents an opportunity for recruiting statements to be made in rivalry games.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 23, 2014
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It was an active weekend for recruits on social media, especially in Los Angeles, where UCLA turned in a huge performance in front of a number of Southern California's elite recruits. This weekend's look at Pac-12 visits through recruits' eyes on social media features stops in Eugene, Tempe, Berkeley and a whole lot of love for the Bruins in Los Angeles.

UCLA's big night

It all started with a bang for the Bruins, as ESPN 300 defensive end Keisean Lucier-South committed to UCLA well before the start of the game against USC.
Lucier-South, the nation's No. 29 prospect, had always been considered a lean to the Bruins, but solidifying his commitment was still cause for celebration in Westwood. It gives UCLA the Nos. 3 and 5 prospects in the state after not signing any of the top 13 California prospects in the 2014 class. Lucier-South was in attendance at the Rose Bowl as well, as UCLA's decisive 38-20 victory over USC made for a nice day for the new commitment. While Lucier-South was in attendance on an unofficial visit, there were more than a few official visitors in town for the Bruins. Perhaps the most important uncommitted official visitor was ESPN 300 guard Joshua Wariboko, the No. 174 prospect in the nation. He was on a visit with UCLA pledge Will Lockett and they had similar thoughts on the atmosphere on campus and at the game. Utah commit George Wilson was at the game and provided a quick snapshot. But the lasting effects from this game might be more felt in the 2016 class, which was loaded in terms of visitors at the Rose Bowl. Outside linebacker Caleb Kelly, the nation's No. 38 prospect in his class, made the drive down. Insider linebacker Lokeni Toailoa, the nation's No. 79 prospect in 2016 retweeted a number of positive UCLA messages and had this simple statement, regarding UCLA's three straight wins in the rivalry. 2016 wide receiver Theo Howard, who holds early offers from both programs, was at the Rose Bowl. Running back Damian Alloway, a new addition to the 2016 ESPN 300, at No. 206 overall, holds an offer from UCLA and wasn't shy about which direction he was leaning Saturday night. UCLA also hosted 2016 prospects Traveon Beck and Frank Martin -- the No. 132 overall prospect in his class. More visitors to Oregon

The Ducks have taken advantage of in season official visitors more frequently than any other Pac-12 program, relying heavily on Autzen Stadium's tremendous atmosphere to make an impression on visitors. This weekend, a few notable uncommitted prospects took official visits in Marquise Doherty and Octavius Spencer, but the visit to watch could be Arizona State junior college linebacker commit Davon Durant. All three prospects likely heard plenty from Oregon's committed prospects in town on official visits -- offensive linemen Shane Lemieux and Jake Hanson. Trip to Tempe

Arizona State had several interesting official visitors on campus, as ESPN 300 prospects John Houston, Stanley Norman and Joseph Wicker all made their way to Tempe. The Sun Devils also hosted committed junior college tight end Raymond Epps on an official visit. Big visitor for Big Game

Cal had a number of commits in town for the Big Game against Stanford. The Golden Bears also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 cornerback Treyjohn Butler, the No. 86 overall prospects who holds early Pac-12 offers from Arizona State, Cal, Washington and Washington State.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 21, 2014
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The penultimate weekend of the regular season is upon us, and that means some serious recruiting weekends in store for several Pac-12 programs. A look at the top three recruiting visits in the Pac-12 includes one staff taking advantage of hosting its rivalry game and two others bringing in recruits to witness their final home games of the regular season.

USC at UCLA


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Early Offer: Who will land Soso Jamabo? 

November, 20, 2014
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Soso Jamabo loved visits to UCLA and Notre Dame, but is it too early to count out the Texas schools? Plus, NC State added a key pledge on Wednesday that should give the Wolfpack much-needed help on the offensive line.

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ESPN Jr. 300: What to know in the Pac-12 

November, 19, 2014
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The updated 2016 ESPN 300 was released on Wednesday, and 44 prospects from Pac-12 states are included, though the top two -- quarterbacks Malik Henry and Jacob Eason -- are committed to Florida State and Georgia, respectively. The Pac-12 holds commitments from 12 prospects in the ESPN Junior 300, as Oregon (three), USC (two) and UCLA (one) have 100 percent of their commitments included in the list.

Three recruits to watch


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UA jersey tour: Canton Kaumatule

November, 18, 2014
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The state of Hawaii will be well represented at this year’s Under Armour All-America Game. On Tuesday, defensive end Canton Kaumatule was just the first of three Aloha State prospects to receive his jersey this week, in a presentation sponsored by American Family Insurance.

Kaumatule, Oregon’s highest-rated commitment and the Ducks’ lone ESPN 300 verbal pledge on the defensive side of the ball, gave Oregon recruiting a huge boost when he made his commitment and signed early enrollment financial aid papers at the end of October.

But truthfully, the Ducks had no business earning a commitment from the 6-foot-6, 280-pound defensive end.

Kaumatule knew he wanted to take all of his official visits and knew that he wouldn’t commit to any school while on any of them. And for most of us, the way his trip to Oregon started would have put us in a sour mood immediately.

The plan was for Kaumatule and his family to take a connecting flight from San Francisco directly to Eugene, but when his flight out of Hawaii was delayed, he was forced to fly into Portland, sit through a layover, then fly into Eugene.

“On the plane ride, I was looking at the scenery and was already starting to fall in love,” Kaumatule said. “We sat in the airport for two hours and everybody at the airport was really nice. I got a good sense of home and it was definitely different than other places I’ve been on the mainland.”

By the time Kaumatule got to Eugene, the Ducks basically had their newest commit.

“I stepped on campus and fell in love with it. The coaches and players were really welcoming and I felt like I was part of the team already. I felt like Oregon was the place for me.”

While the commitment might have come as a surprise, Kaumatule’s family was completely on board. That includes his older brother, Luke Kaumatule, who happens to be an outside linebacker at Stanford.

“He was telling my dad that it would be a great fit for me,” Kaumatule said of his brother. “We were all kind of swayed by that. He’s a big part of my life and when I got there, there was no doubt in my mind.”

Six questions with Canton Kaumatule

What players are you looking forward to competing with or against at the UA Game?

“Two of my good friends -- Breiden Fehoko and Fred Ulu-Perry. No doubt those two are part of Hawaii’s elite and I’ve grown up with those two guys. It’s really exciting to be able to go represent Hawaii with them. We talk about going to the game all the time.”

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

“I would have to say Kalama Chung. He’s my middle linebacker. He takes great control of the defense and he’s known for his work ethic. He watched film throughout the day -- during breaks, during lunch. The whole defense always looks to him. He’d be a great asset.”

Who is the best player to ever play in the UA Game?

“Kennedy Tulimasealii. My dad and I used to watch his one-on-one film from out there. That was inspirational to me. I knew that if he could do it, I could do it.”

What was your earliest football memory?

“I started playing in second grade and I played with guys a little older because of my weight. I wasn’t really too into it and I remember a lot of me running off the field crying. I just wanted to go home and play games. I really didn’t want to play back then.”

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

“My older brother. He taught me a lot, not just about football but academics as well, and working out in the weight room. All he cared about was his motor. If he got knocked down, he got right back up and I really liked that. His relentless motor is what I base my game on today. I know that if I go full speed every game, I will be happy where I end up.”

Why do you wear your number (99)?

“That’s off my dad. In high school his number always had a nine in it. My brother has 90, but I wanted to make a new path. Plus that’s the biggest number on the team and I thought it’d be nice to fill that role.”

What is one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

“On the field I’m always pushing and fighting, but off the field I’m pretty happy-go-lucky. I love making people laugh. I know that if you get to know me, you’ll love me."

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 18, 2014
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With only three Pac-12 games on Saturday, it looked as if it could be a light recruiting weekend in the conference. And while there wasn't much in the way of visitors, Stanford hosted two intriguing unofficial visitors and Sunday brought some significant news in the way of a commitment and a new name for Pac-12 recruiting fans to put on their boards.


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