New Recruits Will Bolster Ducks Football For Years To Come

Autzen Stadium 8, Michigan State, 14, KC

The U of O’s 2015 recruiting class was ranked 17th in the nation, much higher than those in recent years.  The players and staff have consistently made it work with lower-rated recruits, 3-star Marcus Mariota  being a prime example.  With the emergence of linebackers’ coach Erik Chinander as a force in the recruiting world and the ever-present recruiting of head coach Mark Helfrich, this year’s class should be one for the ages.  So, what will the coaching staff be able to produce over the next few years with some highly touted recruits?

This year’s class, highlighted by Canton Kaumatule, the 6-foot, 6-inch 280-pound defensive end out of Hawaii, is in the middle of the Top-25 national pack. In recent years, the Oregon program has evolved 3-star recruits into BCS bowl game winners and highly rated draft picks. With the Ducks making this work for the past ten years or longer, there is reason for great optimism regarding the impact of this year’s more highly rated recruits on the success of the team.

Travis Waller should be gunning for the starting job next fall.

Duck Territory

Travis Waller should be gunning for the starting job next fall.

Quarterback Travis Waller’s early enrollment at UO adds a new dimension to the spring quarterback battle. Jeff Lockie was once the favorite to start the 2015-2016 season, but now there are four other players all fighting for the spot. Morgan Mahalak, Ty Griffin, Travis Waller and now Vernon Adams will make it an interesting competition. With the return of 2013-2014 leading receiver Bralon Addison along with every notable receiver from last year’s team, some of the recruits will find themselves redshirting this year or having small roles at most. This will provide an opportunity for 4-star wide receiver Alex Ofodile and ATH Kirk Merritt, among others, to better their skills practicing against the starters.  This gives the Ducks and their fans much to look forward to in coming years.

Having lost huge pieces from the defense, the Ducks will need this year’s recruiting class to be one that helps on defense more than anywhere else on the field. With Canton Kaumatule almost certainly replacing the gap left by Arik Armstead, there will be the return of a strong defensive line from the year before. One of the biggest holes will be in the secondary. The absence of superstar players such as Erick Dargan, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill will definitely require players such as 4-star cornerback Ugo Amadi to step up big-time and become the next Pac-12 or All-American player to come from the revamped Oregon secondary.

With the unique combination of size and speed this class possesses, it will be hard to keep them off the field for long before they make serious contributions to the success of this team. Whoever ends up playing from this year’s class will have high expectations that they must live up to. These young recruits should have a lasting impact on the program for years to come.

Top photo by Kevin Cline

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  • MAITAIDUCK

    No Offense Sam but some of your article is a little off! Also if Oregon wanted to they could play the whole recruiting class if they all could help this team win Football games. Even though that will not happen there are to many offensive skilled positional players that probably wont RS except for Taj Griffen with the knee issues as the staff will probably want him to. Canton is 6-7 and closer to 300 lbs and is already stronger than Armstead was even by his 3rd year. Good stuff but should look into your info a little more as in you didn’t mention Springs at CB and Daniels and Robinson as they will all start and are a very good starting group along with Seisay next fall. Never know who might pick it up in the Spring and Amadi more than likely will earn some playing time.

    • Anthony Joseph Gomes

      with respect to canton i share your optimism up to a point except to say that i can lift myself no higher than cautious optimism with respect to any true freshman making a major contribution on day 1 of the new season. if you start pounding the drum about how all these 5 star recruits are going to come in and burn up the world on day one you fall into the trap they always do at U$C. overhyped players…………media blitz………jaw jacking………………wild expectations……………bitter disappointment.