As the season progresses, the Ducks continue to have good news after good news. A pair of five-star defensive players from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, each scheduled official visits to Eugene. The platinum-tier football players plan to be on the University of Oregon campus, October 18, for the Washington Huskies game. These potential teammates have specific sets of skills … and their trip to the realm of Ducks is an extension of continuing interests.
Rasheem Green, one of the soon-to-be visitors, plays defensive tackle and is listed as the No. 4 DT, according to composite rankings on 247Sports. The 6’5, 275 lb mountain of a man is strong and disruptive against any offensive backfield. This is the kind of player Oregon could utilize next year, as he has potential to give the defensive line some needed depth.
Green’s teammate, John Houston, plays at the outside linebacker position on their team. Houston is listed as the No. 3 overall OLB in the nation, according to 247Sports. His speed, combined with his six-foot-three frame, could easily take on receivers in coverage.
That’s the ultimate combination. If Houston has a fault, it would be his weight — which is easily remedied by the Ducks’ strength coach Rad and the awesome nutrition facilities.
Both Green and Houston are projected to choose USC as their future school on signing day in February. The Crystal Ball that 247Sports uses for this prediction, for every prep player, has Green 100 percent USC and Houston 96 percent USC, with 4 percent Oregon. Hopefully the 4 percent Oregon will trend higher, Houston will fall in love with Eugene and the coaches will persuade his teammate to join him.
Another surprise official visit that was scheduled by a platinum-tier athlete, was by none other than a defensive end, Byron Cowart, out of Florida. His “Young and the Restless” kind of attention regarding his recruiting has been nothing short of Soap Central.
Cowart’s future commitments have been everything but clear. While he has favored Oregon at the top of the list, his many unofficial visits to the Florida Gators imply something completely different. Even the official visits he has scheduled in the Southeast include two games with Florida. Despite claiming Oregon as his top team, the Crystal Ball has Florida atop at 90 percent. In fact, even Florida State has a higher percentage than Oregon.
On the weekend of November 22, Cowart will be in the house at the Colorado game. This particular visit may be surprising to fans that have followed the roller coaster of a ride. Cowart is one of those defensive linemen that Oregon can use as a true freshman, with his current body size and skill set. He could help dismantle an offensive line with power and quickness around the edge. His current talents might look good in green.
However, the football staff seems to have moved on from pursuing Cowart, with the lack of interest shown when he suddenly sets a date for his official visit. Even with the drama the blue chipper brings, the chance to get him on campus to potentially “quack” makes it worth the gamble and the cost of the visit.
But Cowart isn’t the only promising player to be visiting Oregon.
This weekend, the Ducks will have the committed signal caller of the future, Travis Waller, up from California. The gold-tier athlete will finally have some company, as Justin Hopkins with Duck Territory announced corresponding plans of another Georgia athlete.
Three-star defensive end, Gus Cumberlander, is a solid bronze-tier player, but the staff appears to be exuberant about his potential. I love how Oregon finds those diamonds-in-the-rough! He may be one of those special, hard-working, coachable kids that grows up and matures quickly to find playing time.
It’s fascinating seeing the interest of so many platinum-tier players for Oregon! The Ducks’ offense is really becoming a household name and is respected. Many kids throughout the country are interested in playing that kind of tempo. There are eight non-committed athletes who are platinum or gold-tier, that have official visits lined up for Eugene as a destination. This is serious recruiting! There is rumor of one more platinum-tier from Texas that may visit, and a gold-tier committed to Florida that will be around for the Stanford game.
It is a great time to be a Duck fan, based on recruiting alone! The schedule doesn’t lighten up for Oregon, with an undefeated Arizona squad that should be ranked in the Top 25.
Before the end of the season, we are hoping that many of the official visitors will see the play of Oregon and want to be a part of the Duck experience. The fall is when many of the top recruits select their schools, and as the success continues on the field, the Ducks will also be able to pass the baton to future generations of great football teams.
Top photo by Gary Breedlove