As signing day approaches, coaches are scrambling to put together the best recruiting classes possible. For Urban Meyer and Ohio State getting a playmaker on the outside with speed was a top priority. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the Ducks. News officially broke last night that ESPN 150 athlete Dontre Wilson had flipped his commitment from the Ducks to Urban Meyers’ new-look Buckeyes. Wilson is the second explosive player to flip his commitment to Ohio State in the past week. Wilson, who many expected to come in right away and play somewhat of a DeAnthony Thomas role, will be missed. On the other hand, DeAnthony’s role isn’t exactly vacant, Byron Marshall returns with a solid year of experience in the Ducks’ system and 2013 recruit Thomas Tyner is bigger and faster than Wilson, so maybe he just figured he’d have a better chance for playing time at some school that wasn’t named Oregon. It’s happened before.
And yes, the Ducks still have ESPN 150 running back in Thomas Tyner committed for next year and indeed both De’Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall return. Marshall and the incoming blue chip recruit Tyner will be key for a Ducks team that loses its leading rusher for the second year in a row. But then, when was the last time the Ducks didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher? While our recruiting class is rather small and Helfrich and Co. appear to be largely successful in keeping guys committed, its not surprising that we lose a guy like Dontre Wilson after the departure of Chip Kelly coupled with the youthful talent that we have at running back.
Good news came last night when WR Darren Carrington Jr. confirmed that he was staying with the Ducks when most thought he would flip to Arizona State. Carrington, along with recent Duck commit WR Devon Allen, both had offers from Ohio State, so there’s a little “right back at you” for Urban.
ESPN 300 Offensive lineman Cameron Hunt out of Corona, California is now the Ducks’ top priority. While he is technically committed to Cal, the rather large prospect is considered a silent to Oregon and most expect him to choose the Ducks on national television on signing day. This would be a huge get for the Ducks as we are short on linemen. While potentially trading Dontre Wilson for Cameron Hunt might not look great to outside viewers, true Ducks fans know our strengths and where we have some holes to fill. We have plenty of playmakers and Tyner, Carrington and Allen look to be awesome additions, but you can never have enough linemen. Hopefully while losing grasp of Wilson, Helfrich hooked a big man from the Golden State. As for Urban, it looks like the present score is Ducks 2, Bucks 1.