NCF On The Trail: oregon recruiting

When reports surfaced earlier this month that Chip Kelly would be staying at Oregon instead of going to the NFL, Ducks recruits breathed a sigh of relief. All 13 commits confirmed they were still on board with Oregon despite the coaching uncertainty and were looking forward to playing for Kelly.

[+] EnlargeChip Kelly
Kyle Terada/US PresswireDespite reports he'd stay at Oregon, Chip Kelly is headed to the NFL.
But Wednesday morning's news that Kelly will be taking over as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles could throw things into flux for the nation's No. 21 recruiting class.

Wilson considers Kelly, NFL rumors 

January, 4, 2013
ESPN 150 athlete and Ducks commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) is ready to close the book on his recruitment and is fully committed to Oregon, whether or not Chip Kelly remains the coach of the program.

Reports had surfaced throughout Friday's Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., that Kelly is close to accepting the top coaching position with the Cleveland Browns.

“Coach Kelly is a tremendous coach and he’s had a great run at Oregon to help put that program on the map,” Wilson said. “But the players are in place and the program is rolling now. Coach [Mark] Helfrich and coach [Gary] Campbell are still there and that’s the big thing for me.”

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ESPN 150 S McQuay commits to USC

January, 4, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After four prospects decommitted from the USC Trojans since the beginning of November, the Trojans have finally got some good news as ESPN 150 safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) verbally committed to USC tonight during the Under Armour All-America Game.

The 6-foot-2, 183-pound four-star athlete selected the Trojans over Florida State, Oregon, Vanderbilt and Michigan.

As a senior, McQuay totaled 54 tackles and five interceptions on defense. He also added five receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown on offense.

McQuay, the nation’s No. 3 safety and a starter in Friday's UA Game, is expected to enroll early at USC and be eligible to play spring football.

With McQuay's decision, the Trojans have 15 verbal commitments, including 10 who are members of the ESPN 150. Each of the 15 commitments is ranked as a four-star or higher.

Four-star OT Hunt prepares for visits 

December, 31, 2012
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Offensive tackle Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial), committed to Cal since July, is about to get busy again with recruiting.

[+] EnlargeCameron Hunt
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comCameron Hunt looks forward to an upcoming U-M visit, for which former teammate Kyle Bosch will likely be his host.
Hunt plans to visit Michigan on Jan. 11 after he returns home from the Under Armour All-America Game, Oregon on Jan. 18 and Cal on Jan. 25.

He’s also considering Ohio State, though he has yet to set a visit. It has been a long road for Hunt, who drew little recruiting interest before a breakout camp circuit last spring.

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ESPN 150 S McQuay set to decide Friday 

December, 30, 2012
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- ESPN 150 safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) will be making his college decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday.

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ATH Zayd Issah recommits to PSU 

December, 9, 2012
Zayd Issah (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) is a Nittany Lion ... again.

The three-star athlete, who decommitted after the sanctions, recommitted to Penn State during his official visit over the weekend. He's now the third linebacker of the 2013 class and 15th commit.

When asked why he decided to choose PSU over Oregon and Arizona State, he didn't hesitate: "I can tell you with two words," he said. "Linebacker U."

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Ducks' success catching on with recruits 

November, 21, 2012
Coming off three straight recruiting classes that have loaded Oregon roster with talent and an undefeated season so far, the Ducks are in prime position to close the 2013 recruiting cycle with a bang.

[+] EnlargeMax Redfield
Erik McKinney/ESPN.comAnother great season for Oregon has the Ducks primed to take advantage come signing day, when they hope to ink former USC commit Max Redfield.
Since Chip Kelly's arrival in 2007, Oregon recruiting has taken things to a whole new level. Three consecutive league titles -- and the subsequent BCS appearances -- have helped place the Ducks in the midst of recruiting battles with some of the top programs nationwide. They way they have dismantled every opponent this season has them squarely in the sights of several top prospects from across the country.

While Kelly has built his program by turning unheralded and under-the-radar prospects like Marcus Mariota and Kenjon Barner into stars, he has shown an ability to battle the big boys for top recruits. In each of the past two years, the Ducks have used late pushes to sign California's top prospects -- De'Anthony Thomas and Arik Armstead -- away from USC.

Despite an upset loss to Stanford, the Ducks have had another outstanding year, putting Oregon in position to close strong yet again. The Ducks currently have the nation's No. 23 recruiting class but are still in the mix for several ESPN 150 recruits, including Georgia's Montravius Adams, California's Max Redfield and Florida's Leon McQuay III. Redfield decommitted from USC in early November and is now considering Washington and LSU in addition to the Ducks.

Kelly's crew hung historic numbers on USC (62 points, 730 yards) in front more than a dozen elite 2013 and 2014 recruits. The long-term results remain to be seen, but the immediate reaction of recruits seem to signal that Oregon's Pac-12 dominance is starting to gain traction with recruits in Southern California. Not only did Redfield decommit from the Trojans the day after USC's loss, but several Los Angeles-area prospects from the Class of 2014 came away in awe of what the Ducks accomplished.

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Gareon Conley next Urban Meyer flip?

November, 15, 2012
In the recruiting world, they call it flipping when one school has a recruit under its wing but by signing day that athlete commits to a different university.

As the days dwindle until national signing day, attention has turned to which players Urban Meyer and Co. might roll their way in an all-important 2013 recruiting class for Ohio State.

Some look at Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) or Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett). However, if odds were set, the most likely candidate is one most fans already know about.

Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has made it no secret that he wants to take visits -- whether official or unofficial -- before giving Michigan his signature.

A longtime Wolverine pledge, the cornerback has said he chose Michigan because no other big-name schools were really after him.

The Wolverines were the only visit Conley took, but now that he has interest from schools including Oregon and Ohio State he wants to see what they’re all about, even if that means he is no longer committed to Michigan.

The Ducks have shown strong interest, while Ohio State has extended an offer.

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Zayd Issah reflects on visit, talks officials 

October, 30, 2012
Zayd Issah (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) runs through the same routine whenever he watches a game from the stands.

Zayd Issah
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSZayd Issah was impressed by his unofficial visit to Penn State on Saturday and will be returning for an official visit in December.
When the three-star athlete sees the team burst through that tunnel, he envisions himself as a player there. He wants to know how it feels, whether he's comfortable and if he fits in.

After a half-dozen trips to Happy Valley and another unofficial Saturday, he boasts a better sense than most. He wouldn't say where Penn State currently ranks, other than to acknowledge the school remains in his top 5, but he came away impressed.

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Interest still rolling in for Zayd Issah 

October, 16, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Zayd Issah looked as if he had gone 12 rounds, not four quarters.

A pair of blood-colored splotches -- one near his left eye the size of a half-dollar -- begged for bag of ice or a crafty cut man. A lingering MCL strain caused him to walk with a slight limp. And yet Issah, a three-star athlete, couldn't help but smile after Saturday's overtime victory, his joy momentarily supplanting the pain.

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Derrick Green planning next visit 

September, 23, 2012
Derrick Green is planning to take an official visit to Ole Miss for the Auburn game Oct. 13, the four-star tailback told ESPN via text message Sunday.

The ESPN 150 prospect from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage has expressed strong interest in both schools. Green has said helping build a program at Ole Miss is appealing. He has also expressed strong interest in Auburn. He has raved about two visits there and cited a close relationship with its coaching staff as a strong factor in his recruitment.

Green took an official visit to Tennessee for the Florida game Sept. 15. He has an official visit planned for the Michigan-Michigan State game Oct. 20, and he has said he'll definitely take an official visit to Auburn. He is also considering an official visit to Oregon and Virginia Tech.

On Friday, Green ran for 147 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries as Hermitage beat Richmond (Va.) Varina 20-17.

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James Quick used to top competition 

August, 16, 2012
Ronyae' Quick was never afraid to challenge his son. Sometimes he even employed older kids to do the job.

James Quick, who recently said he'll take official visits to nearby Louisville as well as Ohio State and Oregon, never knew what it was like to play against kids that were the same age as him. His dad made sure of that. The younger Quick always played against older competition to force him to improve his skills.

It worked. Quick, who is also considering Cincinnati and Kentucky, is rated the No. 57 prospect and ninth-best receiver in the nation.

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Fehoko brothers carry on family legacy 

August, 10, 2012
College coaches spend the summer months hosting a variety of football camps in hopes of spotting and making an impression on top high school talent. At this point, it might make more sense to figure out how to secure an invitation to a Fehoko family reunion.

Virtually every college football fan, whether they know it or not, has been introduced to Vili Fehoko--better known as Vili the Warrior, Hawaii’s imposing mascot. Three of Fehoko’s four sons have already made their way through the recruiting process. Whitley Fehoko signed with San Diego State as an offensive lineman. Linebacker Sam Fehoko signed with Texas Tech and eventually with the Philadelphia Eagles. V.J. Fehoko will likely take over as the starting middle linebacker at Utah this season. The fourth, Breiden Fehoko, is about to begin his sophomore year at Honolulu Farrington and already holds offers from Hawaii and Utah.

But college coaches quickly realized this past year that the Fehoko family tree has several branches, and there is another that is worth some significant attention.

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James Quick's list off official visits this fall is coming into focus.

The nation's 57th overall prospect and ninth-best receiver from Louisville (Ky.) Trinity said he will definitely take official visits to Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon, the three schools he's primarily considering. He said he'll likely take official visits to Cincinnati and Kentucky as well.

Certainly, the Cardinals have Quick's heart on their side. Quick's father, Ronyae' Quick, played football for Louisville in the early 1990's.

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DB Tahaan Goodman takes his time 

July, 28, 2012
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) isn't rushing his recruitment.

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