It’s difficult to imagine that current running back Kenjon Barner will no longer man the Oregon backfield following this season. Just think of where Oregon was at when he arrived–Oregon coming off a Sun Bowl victory over USF after it seemed like the Ducks were finally over the hump and bound for the BCS, until Dennis Dixon’s knee ended that hope. Quite a ride it’s been, all the unprecedented success that Barner has witnessed firsthand. Chip Kelly had just finished his first year at Oregon…as an offensive coordinator. It’s been a while.
Nonetheless, fellow tailbacks De’Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall, and incoming prep stars Thomas Tyner (4-Star/Beaverton, OR/Rivals#6RB) and Dontre Wilson (4-Star/DeSoto, TX/Rivals250) should allow for a relatively seamless regime transition in Chip Kelly’s system.
Rising from relative obscurity is a new Oregon target, the shifty yet bruising Kani Benoit (NR/Phoenix, AZ). Nearing the midway point of his senior season, Benoit maintains that the Ducks are beginning to show interest. “I talked to the running back(s) coach (Gary Campbell)…” said Benoit. “That’s the first time I’ve heard from them, and he said he liked my film and was interested in me.”
At 6’0, 200 lbs., Benoit fits the mold of a change-of-pace back. Much like the aforementioned Marshall, Benoit compliments speed (4.48/40) with strength (295 lb. bench press) and utilizes a downhill running style to make his way to paydirt. Due to Campbell and Co.’s late but serious communication, Benoit could be the final backfield piece in the 2013 Oregon recruiting class; stay tuned!
Almost halfway through his senior campaign, nationally-touted wide receiver James Quick (4-Star/Louisville, KY/Rivals250) professes the Ducks are still in the hunt to land his playmaking abilities. “Oregon is still one of my top schools,” said the 6’2″, 180 lb. route runner. “They are a really fast team, and I love how they spread the ball around. I love Oregon’s offense and I think it’s a great fit for me. I’ve seen them on TV a few times this season and they are really good.” Wide receivers Coach Scott Frost will need to vehemently push for an official visit to take place as logistics may play a role in Quick’s program decision.
While only a junior, the 6’1″, 205 lb. linebacker is believed to be making arrangements to visit Eugene sometime during the 2012 season and could be a lock to suit up in Lightning Yellow and Thunder Green when all is said and done.
For up to the minute recruiting news, please visit our friends at DUCK TERRITORY who graciously provide FISHDUCK with in-depth analysis and player-generated material. Look for my latest recruiting update next Wednesday, WTD!!!