Losing Sweat Hurts, But Ducks Will Overcome


Just like those associated with Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Georgia and others, I too was swept up in the Josh Sweat madness. The five-star prospect chose Florida State, a team both close to home and with a recent history of winning. The decision made sense, but at the same time it stung a little. Why didn’t he want to be a Duck? The next closest thing to Jadeveon Clowney, Sweat could’ve taken the Ducks’ defense to another level. The Ducks still have their eyes on plenty of the top prospects yet to make college decisions, but none of similar caliber are considering the Ducks as seriously as Sweat was.

The 2014 Pac-12 Championship Game's MVP, Marcus Mariota, was a two-star recruit.

Gary Breedlove

The 2014 Pac-12 Championship Game’s MVP, Marcus Mariota, was a two-star recruit.

Then, it hit me. Screw recruiting. Since 2011, here’s a quick list of recruits who signed with Oregon who analysts had ranked as three-stars or less: Marcus Mariota. Let me repeat, Marcus Mariota. Also Charles Nelson, Doug Brenner, Joe Walker, Devon Allen, DeForest Buckner … the list goes on. All of those listed above made significant impacts for a team competing for a championship this year, and if I were to include the four-star recruits one could basically assemble the entire starting units. In short, stars don’t matter. Mariota was a two-star recruit and now, barring some unforeseen uprising, he’s going to win a Heisman.

The rankings and the stars don’t matter; what matters is the coaching staff and how it is able to develop raw talent. Scott Frost and Mark Helfrich are two of the most talented offensive minds in all of college football, and Don Pellum has managed to scrape together a defense (out of three-star recruits, might I add) that just shut out a team for an entire first half in a championship game. So, yes, it sucks the Ducks didn’t land Sweat. Would he have made us better? Yes. Does losing him mean the Ducks won’t continue to see the insane levels of success they’ve maintained over recent years? Not at all.

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.


    You know what star system is FLAWED BIG time and most of these 5 star guys have not showed up as 5 star talents and a few of your rating’s are off though as in Marcus was a 3star but really didn’t start until his Senior season so he didn’t get a lot of publicity as for Devon Allen he was a 4 star out of Arizona as far as Joe Walkers concerned he was a 3star that really didn’t play all too well last year and missed a heck of a lot of open field tackles but oh what a difference 1 year makes and presto one heck of a good MLB as in you could justify leaving him in on all 4 downs. As far as the talent goes this Defense has been pretty much loaded with talent 2 and in some cases 3 deep it’s just that lets be honest Nic Aliotti’s bend but don’t break Defense was getting a little OLD and very hard to stomach with all the athletic talent he had on this roster. WOW Coach Pellum is the man and he has got this Defense to really play great in all the big games and then kind of so so in mediocre games but they have gotten better in each game so this I expect to continue in the Rose Bowl. If you also think about it is this Oregon is usually in the TOP 10 to 20 ranking’s every year and that means out of all the Division 1 teams as in over 100 + so that’s not bad considering the past 5 years they have been in the TOP 5 as a National power every year and they are super loaded the next few years with probably not to much of a drop except QB and that might not be that bad either. That 2 star QB you were talking about probably ends up being the NO.1 PICK in 2015 Draft. Flawed system and too much ESPON coverage to a degree most certainly yes. Sweat to me should of came to the next National Champions House for 4 years not FSU who breeds Future Convicts and looks the other way. Character does matter and it can win championships.

    • ORLostGuy

      Actually Pellum still runs a “Bend Don’t Break” style defense. Fortunately, for the Pac 12 Championship game, they came out and shut down Arizona. They displayed a lot higher energy that game, which had been missing in earlier games.
      I’m hoping this high energy continues into the CFP.

      Go Ducks!!!