It’s been two weeks since national signing day…and Oregon already finds itself amongst the headlines of the national recruiting landscape. Local Aloha High School phenom and Oregon commit Thomas Tyner (5-Star/Portland, OR) has been selected by recruiting group, Rivals, as the top-rated running back in the 2013 recruiting class. Along with the top slot in his chosen position, Tyner picked up a Rivals100 National Top-10 overall ranking to supplement his dual-sport (football/track) prowess heading into his final prep campaign.
The 6’0 200-lb. speedster from Portland committed to Oregon in November and has generated no shortage of publicity through criticism of rival oregon state and an increasingly active Twitter account with over 2,000 followers. Oregon fans may liken Tyner to former Duck greats Maurice Morris and Jonathan Stewart, who both bore raw athleticism in the open field.
Like De’Anthony Thomas’ emergence as a freshman, do not be surprised to see Tyner trot onto the turf at Autzen in his first season as a Duck. While he may need to improve his footwork and a few running mechanics, Tyner has 4.38 Sunday-speed that will make a splash in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Possibly joining Tyner in the 2013 Oregon backfield is downhill runner Terrell Newby (3-Star/West Hills, CA). Newby is very familiar with the Ducks as his prep squad, Chaminade, runs a variation of Kelly’s offense with productive results. At 5’10, 185 lbs., Newby amassed over 2,100 yards his junior year; by some accounts, he may be simply waiting for his “top choice” in Oregon to offer a scholarship.
Oregon has accumulated recent success in plucking highly touted running back prospects from Texas in LaMichael James and Tra Carson. Dontre Wilson (4-Star/De Soto, TX) may join that list if he opts to utilize his 4.4 speed in open space under the overcast sky in Eugene. At 5’10, 176 lbs., Wilson bears similarities to Kenjon Barner with his abilities to catch the ball out of the backfield and play a large role on special teams. The Ducks sit in Wilson’s final five program choices, and a visit to Oregon’s campus may become a reality this coming March.
Defensive Line Coach Jerry Azzinaro garnered a Rivals National Top-25 Recruiter honor for bringing the likes of mammoth defensive linemen Arik Armstead (5-Star/Elk Grove, CA) and DeForest Buckner (4-Star/Honolulu, HI) to Eugene. Much to the delight of Duck fans, Azzinaro is already looking ahead to next year. The Ducks have been linked with 2013 Rivals100 defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes (4-Star/Placer, CA) who is itching to “come up for a visit.” The 6’4 285-lb. Placer High School product runs a 4.88 forty and is a nightmare coming off the edge for opposing offenses.
Not to be outdone, Offensive Line Coach Steve Greatwood has his early sights aimed at behemoth offensive tackle David Dawson (4-Star/Detroit, MI). Current Duck cornerback Dior Mathis shares ties with Dawson as both attended Cass Tech in the heart of the Motor City. As well, Dawson spent time lining up at Cypress Ridge in Texas before relocating to Michigan for the upcoming 2012 prep season. Dawson possesses skill in both run and pass blocking and his 6’4, 305-lb. frame would make an immediate impact on the Oregon O-Line.
Look for more recruiting news next week, WTD!!!
Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/Paramedic and an avid Oregon Ducks supporter. A graduate of nearby Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in English-Journalism, Flores is a Ducks football season-ticket holder (since 2010) with plans of pursuing his masters degree at the U of O. A passionate and knowledgeable Ducks fan with a heavy interest in Oregon athletics and recruiting, Flores, a former lacrosse player, brings a wealth of knowledge of Oregon teams not readily covered by the media.
Flores has over seven years of professional journalism experience, including writing for the Statesman Journal in Salem and holding the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban University). He brings his detailed knowledge of recruiting and athletics to the FishDuck team, and welcomes your feedback.
Author’s Note: “I do not capitalize our rival, “that other school”, nor any other institution outside of our beloved UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. WTD!!!”
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