Until the latter half of February, most post-signing day news in the world of college football recruiting had been little more than “prospect interested” or “communication from coaches confirmed by top player…”
That’s all changing.
Now in March, we, the Duck Faithful, can expect to see a healthy dose of offers extended to some of the nation’s marquee players. Last week, Offensive Line Coach Steve Greatwood got things rolling with offers to a trio of lineman: Evan Voeller (4-Star/Portland, OR/Rivals250), Nico Falah (3-Star/Bellflower, CA/Rivals250), and Sean Harlow (3-Star/San Clemente, CA).
With a hefty 805 lbs. of lineman brawn offered, several other prospects targeted by Oregon’s coaching staff received word that the door to taking the field at Autzen Stadium has opened.
Defensive linemen Eddie Vanderdoes (4-Star/Placer, CA/Rivals100) and Scott Pagano (3-Star/Honolulu, HI) both maintained a strong interest in the Ducks and were offered by Defensive Line Coach Jerry Azzinaro. “I was hoping they would offer, they were one of the few schools I was hoping for,” said Pagano. His sentiments were echoed by Vanderdoes, who noted Azzinaro’s feedback – “It was great. I started talking to Coach Azzinaro (over the) last two weeks. I really liked what he had to say about me, he was very up front. He told me he liked me a lot, even among all the many guys he has evaluated.”
Close but not yet offered by the Ducks, speed-to-burn runner Dontre Wilson (4-Star/De Soto, TX/Rivals250) made his way to Eugene for a visit this past Monday. Oregon, who commands a spot on Wilson’s top five college program list, will no doubt extend an offer to slap on Lightning Yellow and Thunder Green to the super-athlete before the month comes to a close.
One of the top prep kicker/punter hybrids nationally, Cameron Van Winkle (NR/Snoqualmie, WA), will visit Oregon on April 13th. Showing the ability to harness tremendous leg strength (50+ yard FGs, kickoff touchbacks), the 5’11, 170 lb. Van Winkle has been in contact with Special Teams Coach Tom Osbourne and would “love an offer from Oregon” as it is “(his) number one school.”
At first glance, some may consider jack-of-all-positions athlete Victor Bolden (NR/Rancho Cucamonga, CA) to be undersized at 5’9, 160 lbs. But where the prep speedster lacks in weight, he makes up for in raw speed and incredible vision. “Oregon is showing the most interest right now,” said Bolden, “I’m hoping I can get up there this spring to check them out.” With the aptitude to lineup almost anywhere on offense, Bolden would be a vital component in the Oregon offense, which lives to spread the field in hopes of creating one-on-one matchups.
Sharing the aspect of versatility with Bolden, multi-position coinsure Darren Carrington (NR/San Diego, CA) possess an equal amount of athleticism but may find a stronger future lining up as a wide receiver with a 6’3, 180 lb. frame. “I’m trying to get up to the Oregon camp in June,” said Carrington, “I like the style of offense they run and they pass the ball a lot.” Able to haul in passes with breakaway speed yet nimble to come back for the catch, Carrington’s drive to get extra yards after contact is something expected at Oregon.
Dual threat quarterback recruits continue to stand up to be counted by Oregon; the latest, Brandon Cox (4-Star/Pasadena, CA), may possess the rare combination of arm strength and poise. When not completing passes in the pocket, Cox can make the most of broken plays and scamper away from defenders with ease. A 6’2, 185 lbs., Cox fits the mold of a read-option signal-caller in the Ducks’ offensive scheme and maintains that he “would love to get an offer” from Oregon, “one of (his) top schools.”
Speed-U continues to add to its list of backfield prospects; DJ Martin (4-Star/Bakersfield, CA), a bruising 5’10, 205 lb. tailback can run over or past defenders to find his way to pay dirt. Martin currently holds a Ducks offer and “really want(s) to get to Oregon some time.” Like Duck legend LaMichael James, Martin never shies away from contact but can find a second gear in open space to blow past opposing defenses. Martin’s hybrid running style would complement a young running backs class heading into the 2013 season if he teams up with Tyner, De’Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall.
Dana Altman and his hardwood crew missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid but nonetheless improved their post season standing from a year ago, garnering an NIT invitation. Last night, Oregon solidified its future as an up-and-coming contender with a 96-76 first round victory over visiting lsu behind 25 points from senior guard Devoe Joseph. The Ducks will host iowa in the second round on a date and time yet to be determined at Matthew Knight Arena.
Along with post season play, Altman and his assistants are hitting the recruiting airwaves with a pair of offers. The first going to Keon Pledger (NR/San Bernardino, CA), a combo guard who may follow in the footsteps of his cousin, former Ducks tight end Ed Dickson, to Eugene, albeit on the basketball court.“They (Oregon) offered me and they are a school I’m very interested in,” said the 6’3 Pledger. “They are out in front for me above the rest of schools (offering).” The Ducks will need outside shooting production after the departure of seniors Garrett Sim and Joseph, an aspect of offense that Pledger excels at.
(Keon Pledger Highlights Unavailable)
The second of the pair, Jajaun Johnson (4-Star/Memphis, TN), a 6’4 guard/forward combo, is the first east coast talent to be offered by Oregon in the class of 2013.
A raw scorer who averages 22 points a game in his final prep season would be a welcome addition to the Ducks backcourt looking to rebuild after the 2012 campaign.
For up to the minute recruiting news, please visit our friends at DUCK TERRITORY, and look for my latest recruiting updates appearing on Wednesday mornings, WTD!!!
Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/Paramedic and an avid Oregon Ducks fan. Prior to the fire service, Flores, a graduate of nearby Corban University, spent over seven years in professional journalism including a stint at the Statesman Journal in Salem and held the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban). A career transition however never dampened his love of writing and FishDuck is now his source to share his love of Mighty Oregon. Flores brings detailed knowledge of Oregon recruiting to the FishDuck team and welcomes your feedback.
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