Oh buddy, I can smell it! Spring football is on the horizon! 32 days separate we, the Duck Faithful, from taking our seats amongst the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium to get a first glimpse of our 2012-13 Ducks. Will the “Arik Armstead Show” be as advertised? (YES!) Who will command the quarterback battle fought between elder Bryan Bennett and budding redshirt-freshman Marcus Mariotta? Will Oregon finally have a marquee tandem of wide receivers? While all questions will be answered in due time, “Chip-Time” around The Mo, Oregon’s recruiting effort to stack springs of the future continues at a steady pace.
Highly-touted linebacker Chans Cox (4-Star/Lakeside, AZ/Rivals 100), a prep standout who may one day honor America in the annual Salute to the Troops-themed Green/White spring match-up is “hearing from Oregon.” Cox, currently nursing a shoulder injury, is anxious to recover in time for his final prep season and professed that the Ducks “seem to be very interested.” A regular on Linebacker Coach Don Pellum’s call-list, the defensive wrecking-ball said he “would be honored if (Oregon) decided to offer.” Lastly, Cox’s familiarity with Oregon’s continual drubbing of the two Arizona schools may go a long way in convincing the two-way star to head north to Eugene.
This past Saturday, Oregon extended its first quarterback offer in the 2013 recruiting cycle. Quarterback Cody Thomas (4-Star/Colleyville, TX/Rivals250) is a National Top-10 rated signal caller whose 4.5 speed complements a 6’5, 220 lb. frame. Well versed in the rigors of southwest high school football, Thomas is an unbelievable athlete with dual-sport (baseball) aspirations. Stay tuned for news on the visitation front.
With the eventual departure of hitman safety John Boyett, Oregon’s made it a priority to bolster the last line of defense. Tahaan Goodman (4-Star/Rancho Cucamonga/Rivals250) is the latest defensive back to gain attention from Eugene. The 6’2, 185 lb. bruiser indicated that “Oregon told me they’d offer when they see me in person.” Let’s hope that means Goodman intends to visit or attend an Oregon camp in the near future.
Defensive back Jason Black (3-Star/Clovis, CA) isn’t as hyped as fellow safety Goodman, but where the prep lacks in flash, he makes up for in bone-jarring toughness. At 5’11, 200 lbs., Black, who picked up 67 tackles as a junior, is an ever present terror to receivers daring to run over the middle. Oregon has made its interest known through letters sent to Black, and an offer may not be far off if the ball-hawking defender excels in his upcoming senior season.
(Click “Jason Black” hyperlink above for video highlights.)
Oregon prospect Anthony Bennett (5-Star/Henderson, NV/Rivals150) added another post-season accolade to his resume: an invitation to participate in the Portland-hosted Nike Hoop Summit on April 7th – a match-up that pits the top high school preps from the U.S. against their international counterparts. Bennett, a power forward who holds Canadian citizenship, will suit up for the World Team in the 11th edition of the Nike brainchild. (Don’t be surprised to see Bennett rolling into Eugene during the first part of April. As indicated on his Twitter feed, Bennett plans to visit the Ducks once his prep career concludes.) Along with his Hoop Summit honor, Bennett will don a West Squad jersey in today’s McDonald’s All-American game held in Chicago, IL. (I had to throw this Bennett highlight into the mix, pay special attention to the first dunk featured.)
Coach Dana Altman continues to seek highly-talented outside shooters during the off-season. Shooting guard Jerron Wilbut (3-Star/Downer’s Grove/Rivals150) plays taller than his size (6’2, 180 lbs.), getting to the rim with ease and throwing the occasional power dunk to supplement his shooting. No word has surfaced as to if/when Wilbut would take a visit to Oregon, but rest-assured, Altman’s tactics to lead the Ducks into the reaches of the elite is attracting players who were once thought of as unavailable.
For up to the minute recruiting news, please visit our friends at DUCK TERRITORY who graciously provide FISHDUCK with in-depth analysis and player-generated material. Look for my latest recruiting update next Wednesday, 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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