Recruiting Analysis: THREE Overlooked Targets

With National Signing Day creeping closer every day, Oregon is in good position to close strong. Oregon is still in serious contention for multiple blue chip prospects, such as: Derrick Green, Tarean Folston, John Ross, Max Redfield, Gareon Conley, Mike Mitchell, Peter Kalambayi, Myles Jack and Danny Mattingly. Adding a few of the aforementioned players would go a long way towards making this Oregon’s 4th consecutive top-15 recruiting class.

As it currently stands, here’s how Oregon’s class looks using my tier system:

Tier-E: Thomas Tyner RB

Tier-1: Dontre Wilson RB

Tier-1: Darren Carrington WR

Tier-1: Tyree Robinson CB

Tier-1: Tyrell Robinson LB

Tier-1: Alex Redmond OG/OT

Tier-1: Evan Voeller OG

Tier-3: Johnny Mundt TE

Tier-3: Doug Brenner C/OG

Tier-3: Chris Seisay CB

Tier-3: Matt Wogan K

The class size isn’t likely to be above 20, so that leaves 8 or maybe 9 open slots. To put things into perspective, Oregon will need to land four more Tier-1 players if they want to end up ranked in the top-15 at the end of the year. While it’s certainly possible, it’s not a certainty like it has been in years past. Don’t be surprised if Oregon ends up ranked around 20th.

And what’s a recruiting article without the obligatory “the coaches don’t care about rankings” statement? Well, the coaches don’t care about rankings. That said, don’t fool yourself into believing that Oregon has been winning without talent. Entering the season, Oregon had the 2nd most talented team in the conference based on recruiting rankings.

What’s clear is that the Oregon staff is unparalleled in terms of finding and developing talent. If the coaches go after a player who isn’t highly ranked, it’s because they see something special. This is becoming all the more true as Oregon garners interest from an ever-increasing pool of blue-chip talent.

Players like Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner, Daryle Hawkins, Taylor Hart, Wade Keliikipi, Kiko Alonso and Avery Patterson were all largely overlooked by most or all recruiting services. Now when I say “overlooked,” I mean that none were better than” three-stars” coming out of high school. Obviously, all have outplayed that assessment. The coaches saw something they liked in each of those players and have already received significant production out of each. If those players are any indication, incoming “Tier-3” guys like Mundt, Brenner and Seisay all have a lot to be hopeful for. Let’s take a look at a few more under-the-radar recruits whom the staff is still pursuing:

Tier-3: Austin Hooper DE

Hooper is a big strong guy with a serious frame. He already plays with a lot of power. Very good at holding his ground against the run. Sheds blocks with ease. Has the ability to push the pocket back. Not an elite athlete but would be perfect for the DE/DT spot in Oregon’s defense — think Taylor Hart.

Don’t be surprised if Hooper picks up a fourth star by the end of the year. ESPN has already jumped on the bandwagon, which is rare considering how regionally biased their rankings are (it’s called SECSPN for a reason). Hooper seems like a difficult recruit to get a solid read on. His official visit will be critical. Right now, it’s down to Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington.

Odds: 40%

Tier-3: Victor Egu LB

Egu is a big linebacker who does a great job of diagnosing plays and working through traffic to get around the ball. Could add even more strength. Will probably end up playing around 240+ pounds. Looks natural in coverage and shows an ability to rush the passer as well. Egu could play any of Oregon’s three linebacker positions. He’s going to be a stud.

Austin Hooper’s teammate, the Ducks were on Egu early. Coach Allioti’s brother is the head coach down at De La Salle so the coaches were likely privy to some good information before making an offer. Since Oregon made their interest known, the majority of the conference has offered and it figures to come down to an Oregon/Cal/Washington battle for the talented linebacker.

I think he’s been an Oregon lean all along, but I also won’t be surprised if he ends up in Seattle. Never underestimate Tosh Lupoi. The guy is a recruiting wizard.

Odds: 60%

Tier-5: Daniel Etuale DT

This is a player who, literally, came out of nowhere. He hails from the island of Samoa, which immediately catches your attention because of how many solid players that little island produces. He’s still very raw, but the coaches love his combination of size and quickness. He plays a lot of tight end so you know he can move.

The coaches have offered, but are waiting on test scores to see if he would even get into school. Etuale seems confident that it won’t be an issue and has expressed his desire to play for the Ducks. If his scores are high enough, he’s a lock.

Odds: 90%

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Chris Charbonnier

Chris Charbonnier

Chris was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but made his way to Oregon by the age of five, when he attended his first game at Autzen Stadium. A huge sports fan at a young age, Chris grew up playing football, basketball and golf. Although realizing he isn’t likely to play in the NFL or NBA, Chris still holds on to hopes of being a professional golfer should his unfortunate putting woes take a turn for the better. A bit of a platypus, he attended both Oregon State and Oregon during his collegiate days where he earned a business degree in Finance and Business Administration. Chris works for Daimler Trucks North America in Portland, and plans to get his MBA from the University of Oregon. Chris has been an active member in the recruiting community since 2005. He studies the intricacies of recruiting and is particularly intrigued by talent evaluation techniques. He is currently working on developing his own scouting reports for every scholarship player on the UO roster. Chris lives with his wife, Katrina, and his two-year-old son Lucas (a future dual-threat QB).

  • Chris Charbonnier

    Well, Egu just committed to Cal. Go figure.

    • Dang, DLS kids know how to buy into a program. Hopefully we can make up for it soon.

      • Chris Charbonnier

        Ya, it just goes to show you how important the distance factor is. Cal is a mess right now.

  • fishduck

    You have enormous credibility with me in your analysis as you call it as you see it. Everyone wants a top ten class and you explain that a 20th ranked class is more probable. That is not what everyone wants to hear, but NEEDS to hear, and the reasons why. Good stuff. Thanks.