Continuing a hastened march to an inaugural playoff berth, Oregon trashed the ever-changing tree (palm – circa 2014) 45-16. Off the field, the Ducks continued to lumberjack their way to the top in the form of two fresh commitments coming by way of defensive end Canton Kaumatule (4-Star/Honolulu, HI/Rivals250) and class of 2016 wide receiver Dillon Mitchell (NR/Memphis, TN).
“Oh my gosh, it was amazing. The entire locker room uproared (and) cheered when they said I was the newest commit,” said the 6-foot-9, 290 lb. Kaumatule. “It was such an amazing feeling.”
Oregon secures another foothold in the island state of Hawaii with Kaumatule’s pledge. Far to the east, his soon-to-be teammate, Mitchell, echoed his sentiments.
“Before coming, my decision was just going to be based off the school, but after seeing it in person and being there I realized everything about it just fits me,” said the 6-foot-2, 185 lb. Mitchell. “The coaches, I love them to death and they love me to death. It’s the place I feel the most comfortable at.”
A shifty athlete with dime-spinning reflexes in the open field, Mitchell has another prep season to refine his already impressive gifts.
Arguably the top athlete in the class of 2015, Kirk Merritt (4-Star/Destrehan, LA/Rivals250) joined the aforementioned Kaumatule and Mitchell on the Oregon sideline. Heading into the weekend, Merritt was a lean elsewhere… not anymore.
“Yeah Canton was great, they were all great,” said Merritt. “I loved meeting all of them and talking to them about Oregon. Mattrell McGraw was my host and I knew of him but didn’t know him. It was great having someone from my area though and could relate the distance to me. It wasn’t a big deal, you’ll get a little homesick at times he said but it’s not that bad.”
At 5-foot-11, 206 lbs., Merritt made a name for himself by winning the SPARQ Title at Nike’s The Opening earlier this summer. According to DuckTerritory’s Justin Hopkins, Merritt was one step away from Texas A&M before his visit to Eugene. His path now appears headed to a Green & Yellow pasture.
“I really loved it, the whole visit was great. My family loved it too. It was so great to meet the staff and get to know them. In fact it was the staff and the people we met that really stood out about this visit. We really trust them and that is big. Coach (Matt) Lubick is recruiting me and we trust him. We have built a very good relationship with him.”
Stay tuned Duck Faithful, stay tuned!
Top photo by Kevin Cline