True freshman Arrion Springs may not start this year, but expect him to rise to prominence early in his collegiate career. The Oregon secondary not only lost three starters this season, but also standouts Brian Jackson and Avery Patterson. So the spot across from All-American defensive back, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, is wide open. Ironically enough, the Ducks landed four-star recruit Springs who shares a very similar skill set with Ekpre-Olomu — except he’s faster!
Springs hails from San Antonio, Texas, where the only thing more important than football is — Texas itself. Further continuing a tradition of recruiting in Texas, the Ducks became heavily involved in tracking down Springs as he became more popular.
By the time Springs was a senior at Roosevelt High School, home of the Rough Riders, he had accumulated 115 tackles and was looking good in the midst of the work. Thus, Oregon knew they were competing with true heavy-hitters in recruiting him.
After Springs added another 75 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries to his resume, 27 schools bid for his services. These schools included legendary institutions such as Florida State, Alabama and, of course, Texas.
However, the Ducks’ exciting successes were detailed to Springs in his youth, and even converted him to fandom. So the 5’11, 200 lb. juggernaut knew in his heart that Eugene would be his next destination.
After his senior season, Springs was named an All-American and listed as the sixth best quarterback in the nation by ESPN. Shortly after he attended a camp, Nike’s The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon, where he decided to announce his college decision on live television. Oregon fans everywhere rejoiced as they knew they had not only kept a prodigy out of the hands of rivals, but also received talent with the potential to rival that of future NFL first-rounder Ekpre-Olomu.
It was actually at The Opening where spectators got a taste of his speed. Springs showed up with quicker feet and a more imposing weight. To top it off, he ran a whopping 4.4 40! These are the stats of an NFL stud, and he’s still a teenager.
So where does Oregon’s seventh commitment for the 2014 recruiting class stand? Well, he stands tall — metaphorically, that is. He’s been noted as having incredible quickness and lateral agility. This should allow him to move along the line well and stay tight in sticky situations.
And as aforementioned, the 4.4 speed is astounding. Springs should be able to close fast on down field receivers as well as disruptive in long bombs.
Springs doesn’t boast a huge frame, but he still manages to make a huge impact on opponents silly enough to try him. In spite of his limited size, Bud Elliot with SB Nations still believes he is one of the better defensive backs in this year’s recruiting class. As he says, “Some defensive back coaches prefer big, strong, physical safeties. For those who prefer more scheme versatility, players [such as] Springs become top targets.” This is just one credible endorsement of many.
We know that Springs will be good, so what of his character? Well, the person that matters most, Head Coach Mark Helfrich, told Comcast Sports Net that Springs ”really has been, as far as our dealings, rock solid … . Dynamic guy. Off the field, very quiet, humble type of guy.” Ergo, a strong game combined with a strong mindset should make for a strong, influential Duck.
It may not be this fall that Springs begins his reign of dominance, but players such as he do not sit on the bench. In fact, his overall impressiveness may demand some playing time this season. So next time a ball is in the air and Arrion is in the game, if the targeted receiver isn’t already shut down, look for Springs to spring to the occasion. [EIC note: Groan, lol]
Top Photo by Kevin Cline