Recruiting Update: Bigger, Faster, Offer?

Oregon Ducks versus Texas Longhorns in the 2013 Alamo Bowl


Football Recruiting


In just over two months’ time, Oregon will take to the grounds at Autzen Stadium for the annual Salute The Troops-themed spring game matchup on May 3rd.  In the lull that is the early months of the new year, returners and early-admits make up the bulk of the news that filters out of Eugene.

However, the recruiting hotbeds may be the bigger story as Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich is utilizing an aggressive philosophy of “offering early” . . . a strategy We, The Oregon Faithful, had grown unaccustomed too during the Chip Kelly era.

Helfrich appears to be considering preps and acting on information just a bit faster than his predecessor, and while the results may not be seen for many months, the impact is already being felt.

While preps no doubt would be in contact with Oregon this early in a recruiting cycle, the frequency and interest from parties involved has a different feel heading into the 2015 cycle.

Linebacker Khaylan Thomas (NR/Etiwanda, CA) has been courted by several Pac-12 schools but wants to see Lightning Yellow and Thunder Green in his future.

“. . . Oregon would be a huge offer for me,” said Thomas.  ”. . . I’ve been liking Oregon more lately and I love what they are doing up there.”

While flying under the bleachers early in the cycle, the 6-foot-2, 210 lb. Thomas is a force to be reckoned with on the edge and takes excellent lines to get to the ball-carrier.  Oregon’s no stranger to speedy second-level defenders and the likelihood of Thomas visiting Eugene is increasing by the day.  Look for a visit before his senior season if communication keeps up.

While tabbed as four-star early in 2014, defensive end Byron Cowart (4-Star/Seffner, FL/Rivals100) is almost a lock to jump to a five-star ranking and with that possibility comes another; flying cross country to visit the Ducks.

“. . . Oregon is up there (in my top three),” said Cowart.  ”They are recruiting (me) hard.”

At 6-foot-3, 248 lbs., Cowart eats up opposing lineman and can be spotted in the backfield wreaking havoc on almost every play.  Cowart possesses natural footwork that affords the southeast product the ability to blow past larger blockers with ease. Insiders profess that distance is not a factor in his final decision, and Oregon continues to be a hot topic when discussing his potential college desination.  Stay tuned!

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 every Wednesday, WTD!!!

Main photo by Jeff Huehn.

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Mark Flores

Mark Flores

Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/EMT who is currently attending Paramedic School. A graduate of nearby Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in English-Journalism, Flores is an Oregon Ducks football season-ticket holder (since 2010) with plans of pursuing his masters degree at the U of O. A passionate and knowledgeable Ducks fan with a heavy interest in Oregon athletics and recruiting, Flores, a former lacrosse player, brings a wealth of knowledge of Oregon teams not readily covered by the media.Flores has over seven years of professional journalism experience, including writing for the Statesman Journal in Salem and holding the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban University). He brings his detailed knowledge of recruiting and athletics to the FishDuck team, and welcomes your feedback.Author's Note: "I do not capitalize our rival, "that other school", nor any other institution outside of our beloved UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. WTD!!!"Twitter: @MarkDFlores