As a fan of college football, it’s sometimes easy to get lost in the sheer number of recruits and analyses given by coaches and teams during the off season. It can be hard to sort through the noise when sometimes all a dedicated fan wants to know is who is going to make plays next season. Who is going to be that new guy on the field, either getting tackles, catching passes or making smart decisions?
The word on the street and in the coach’s office is that Jaylon Redd (above, right), one of the most versatile recruits in the country, is going to be that guy next year. His speed at both cornerback and wide receiver has been widely praised. He also has one of the best commitment videos ever in my opinion, which he posted on his twitter and was then retweeted by Bleacher Report:
Life is like a box of chocolates for 4-star CB Jaylon Redd as he makes his commitment pic.twitter.com/Twq4mjnO0h
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2016
Both Redd and Graham helped their high school, Rancho Cucamonga (located about an hour east of Los Angeles), to one of their best seasons last year. They were not expected to be one the best team in Southern Section D1 football. That was supposed to be powerhouses like Corona Centennial, Santa Ana Mater Dei, and Mission Viejo.
Rancho Cucamonga went undefeated during the regular season last year, for the first time in school history, according to InsideSoCal.com. It gained two more playoff wins, and leaped up the national rankings before losing the semifinal game against Mater Dei.
Even though Redd is likely to play cornerback in college, he is a more than capable running back. He has a monster season last fall, totaling 1693 yards rushing, 25 rushing touchdowns, and 3 receiving touchdowns on 97 carries, according to Duck Territory. He will be undersized at running back, but it’s good to know that he’s got some wheels.
His prowess on the defensive side of the ball are what drew the eye of many scouts. During his junior year, Redd racked up 66 tackles, 33 of which were solo, had three interceptions and a forced fumble, according to Maxpreps.com.
The Boys are Back in Town
Redd is one of two 4-star recruits from Rancho Cucamonga High School. The other is Thomas Graham Jr., who has already enrolled at Oregon and is making such a splash in Spring Ball (see Mike Kelly’s Evaluation of Graham next week). Both of them took unofficial visits to Oregon last spring. Watch Graham and Redd receive their Under Armour All-American Game jerseys below:
A man of many talents, Redd claimed he was shocked and impressed by Oregon fan’s knowledge and friendliness while on his official visit during the Stanford game on November 12th last season. Redd told The Oregonian,
It made me feel really wanted. Fans at USC and UCLA don’t walk up to you like that. For people to walk up to you and talk to you out of nowhere, it was just … dang. I enjoyed it.”
The enthusiasm from both fans and coaches have drawn Redd to Eugene. Comparisons to a young Charles Nelson are not so far-fetched, and both offensive and defensive coaches have spoken to him about his desire to play on both sides of the ball.
Redd committed to Oregon in late September, just before the Mark Helfrich decision went down. He turned down his main offers from Ole’ Miss, Arizona State, and UCLA. Even though Redd wasn’t recruited by Willie Taggart, he told The Oregonian, “I’m going to give him a chance, for sure, and get to know him.”
At least Redd was honest about his relationship with Taggart. He didn’t know him very well, but he was going to give it a shot. Redd told Michelle Gardner of the Southern California News Group that the coaching change “definitely made me question my decision at the beginning. But as I got to get more comfortable with [Taggart], it was great.”
Fellow Oregon recruit Deommodore Lenoir is a good friend of Redd’s and one of the reasons Redd is committed to UO. Just how close were they? If you watch the end of Redd’s commitment video, you’ll see Lenoir is the guy decked out in Oregon gear, bucket hat and all. It must have been a little unnerving for Redd to see his friend, a big influence on his college decision, decommit from Oregon. Fortunately, it all worked out, and both Redd, Lenoir and Graham will be a nice youthful backfield.
The Man of Many Talents
Redd, at 5’9″, 180 lbs, is not the largest athlete, but he can be used all over the field, and that gives him an advantage. He knows how to play corner and safety, so that should help him out if he gets on the line of scrimmage as a receiver. To check out his highlights from an offensive and defensive standpoint, check out this video from Hudl. Redd was voted The Offensive Player of the Year by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
On top of his football prowess, he is also a very competitive Track and Field athlete. His personal records include 10.71 seconds for 100m, 21.63 for 200m, and a 53.44 for 400m! Those are very respectable times. I wonder if he is at all interested in pursuing track and field, he should give head track and field coach Robert Johnson a call.
He wouldn’t be the first guy to play football and track and field at Oregon. Olympian Devon Allen was a wide receiver with gifted speed but left the football program after suffering both left and right ACL tears.
Redd is not just playing sports in college, he is also making them his life’s work. He plans to major in Sports Psychology, with a master’s degree in business.
Eugene, Ore. (From Half Moon Bay, Calif.)
Top Photo by Nick Lucero for Rivals.com
Special thanks to Duck Territory at 247sports.com for sharing this information with FishDuck.com; check out their trial subscriptions for the best up-to-date information on Oregon recruiting.