With “Husky Hate Week” nearing its end, there is a list of prep stars who will be visiting Eugene on Saturday, to watch Washington take on the Ducks. With that list, there is some great talent that may end up choosing Oregon over all the other picks.
Before you start thinking this is unrealistic, here are some things to consider:
1. Bartlett, Green and Houston/Dumb and Dumber
For starters, three potential defensive players will be seeing Oregon in action. Those three are bronze-tier Tevis Bartlett, who plays outside linebacker in Wyoming, and the two platinum-tiered teammates from California, Rasheem Green (defensive tackle) and John Houston (OLB). Making their visits will give the University of Oregon staff a chance to persuade the players that Oregon is their destination after high school.
One of my favorite comedies, Dumb and Dumber, has a particular scene that I find myself quoting frequently. Jim Carrey plays Lloyd Christmas, one of the two intellectually inept characters. Lloyd travels 2,000 miles to return a briefcase to the woman of his dreams (who is, unknown to him, married) in Aspen, Colorado.
When he reaches his destination, Lloyd goes all out, and seeks the approval of Mary Swanson. Lloyd ends up asking what the chances are of them becoming a couple. When Mary admits that would be “one out of a million,” Lloyd’s serious face transitions to relief and joy as he queries the famous line: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
When highly touted football players come to Eugene, I feel like Lloyd Christmas in hopes that the Crystal Ball predictions on 247Sports.com may not be fully accurate. If Bartlett, Green and Houston are taking the time to make the visit with their parents, then they might “quack” for the Ducks.
In all seriousness, Green and Houston are both projected at 96 percent or higher to choose USC on signing day; however, with five official visits, the chances of those two blue chippers picking Oregon is better than one in a million.
The athletes usually pick their top five schools when selecting their sites for official visits. If Eugene is one of the five locations to visit, then the Ducks are at least competitively ranked.
2. Other defensive player possibilities
Bartlett, Green and Houston aren’t the only defensive players on the Ducks’ radar.
Picking up another verbal commitment from the state of Georgia bodes well on Oregon’s national level of competition. Gus Cumberlander is a bronze-tier defensive end who loved his visit to Eugene, and it seems that much of the influence came from Travis Waller’s mom connecting with Cumberlander’s mom. They hit it off nicely! (Yet another proof that it’s important for moms to approve of the university.)
It seems that Oregon has avoided the desperate feeling of trying to get any defensive lineman by snagging Cumberlander. His long frame and knack for finding the ball will help the Ducks muster some depth on that side of the line.
The defensive coordinator should find comfort with this recruit, and what hopes to be a long list of defensive linemen signing. There are six more scheduled to visit in the near future. It would have been seven until one of the top defensive ends, Josh Sweat, canceled his Oregon visit due to his season-ending injury.
So much talent on the defensive line will have visited U of O by the end of November; half of them are platinum-tiered level. There are also two silver-tier and one gold-tier stars wanting to tour the beautiful campus and facilities.
In all reality, there is “a chance” with a few of these six beasts. Getting half of them would be huge for the Ducks, who have been trending upward the past five years in the field of recruiting.
3. The states with the picks
So where are many of these players coming from?
Oregon coaches seem to be hitting a few states harder than others this year. California is always a good bet for the Ducks to dive into for highly touted prep stars, and this year is no different.
In the past, Texas has also been helpful in bringing in great talent. This year, the Oregon staff seems to have caught the eye of only a handful of Texans. It may be a big year getting kids from Georgia and Hawaii.
With two Georgians committed already and two more with scheduled visits out west, it could be a great haul. Marcus Mariota has opened the eyes of the Hawaiians and one commit at this point may lead to even two to four more.
However, the Ducks might also have good chances with two Illinois prospects. Raequan Williams is a silver-tier defensive tackle with a visit scheduled for the Colorado game, and Terry Beckner, Jr., is a platinum-tier defensive end that has the size to move to tackle at 293 pounds.
With all this big-time talent making its way to Eugene, and the recent commitment from 2016 signal caller Seth Green, there’s a good chance that Oregon will land a Top 10 recruiting class for 2015. With the already superb start for 2016, it may be even be better than 2015.
After giving my answer to the question of whether Oregon will haul in some highly touted football players this year, it looks like Oregon’s version of “you’re telling me there’s a chance” … might fare better than Lloyd Christmas’ question.
Top photo by Kevin Cline