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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Oregon adds another ESPN 300 RB

By Erik McKinney

ESPN 300 running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) had an idea of what he wanted to see going into his Oregon official visit this past weekend.

The nation's No. 164 overall recruit got that and plenty more, as James made a verbal commitment to the Ducks.

"I kind of already knew I wanted to go there," James said. "I just wanted to go there and confirm it."

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound back would seem to be a perfect fit in Oregon's fast-paced offense. James said he very much enjoyed his first live glimpse of it.

"It was just what I expected," James said. "Fast tempo, scoring touchdowns and getting a win."

James also held offers from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and UCLA.

A constant downpour couldn't sway the talented back from his ultimate decision.

"The weather didn't really bother me," he said. "I was still smiling like a kid at the candy store. I just loved being up there, around a great staff and a great team. It was a dream come true."

James was joined by Oregon recruit Henry Mondeaux (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), and was scheduled to be joined by ESPN 300 athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), although Quick didn't wind up making the trip. James said he had a feeling Mondeaux could join him in Oregon's 2014 recruiting class.

The Ducks now have nine commitments, and James gives them three ESPN 300 prospects, including two ESPN 300 running backs -- big-back Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial) is the other. That pairing should give Oregon a dynamic thunder and lightning combination in this class. It also makes the running back situation an interesting one for Oregon, as ESPN 300 tailback Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) is seriously considering the Ducks as one of his finalists. It remains to be seen whether Mixon will still Oregon a serious look with both Freeman and James on board, but there is no doubt that coach Mark Helfrich will be plenty happy with the two backs on board.