Oregon is in its second week of spring practice. At least, we think they are, considering no one outside of a lucky few have seen the Ducks run a play during the rainy pre-season.
One of those lucky few is athlete Brandon Monroe (NR/Loomis, CA). Last week, the jack-of-all-positions was spotted hanging around The Mo and is no doubt building a rapport with Oregon coaches. While Monroe is not the flashiest prep, his versatility makes him an intriguing target for Oregon’s “athlete-centered” personnel groupings.
Oregon O-Line Coach Steve Greatwood continues to add top prospects to his offer-list. Lineman Reeve Koehler (4-Star/St. Louis, HI/Rivals100) is the #1-rated guard nationally and, at 6’3, 322 lbs., produces running lanes that offenses dream of.
“(Oregon is) a big offer for me,” said Koehler. “I’m really humbled. Oregon is a great school, and I’m sure I’ll check them out.” One factor that may play into Koehler’s recruitment is his familiarity with former prep signal-caller, dual threat quarterback Marcus Mariota. The two prep giants suited up for vaunted St. Louis High and made a name for themselves as state-title winning teammates.
Wide receiver Jack Austin’s (3-Star/Chino, CA) attitude and strong moral values may give his “hands-in-traffic” ability a run for its money. The 6’3, 195 lb. receiver spends his off-field time participating in volunteer work and trades his pads and helmet for small group responsibilities at church. While strong of character beyond the gridiron, Austin is no slouch on the field, where he routinely comes up with catches in the face of multiple defenders. Fortunately for we, the Duck Faithful, Austin has his eyes on Eugene. “I’ve always been a fan of Oregon. I like Chip Kelly’s offense and how they throw the ball.” Though he is currently not holding a Ducks offer, look for Austin’s name to emerge as an Oregon target once the summer concludes.
Along with aforementioned Koehler, two linemen have made their way onto Oregon’s shortlist. Tackles Sean Dowling (3-Star/Fallbrook, CA) and Poasi Moala (3-Star/Moreno Valley, CA) both possess the body type and skills to throw the lauded Oregon staple: open field blocks. At 6’6, Dowling is the taller of the pair by a mere inch but gives up 15 lbs. in weight to Moala (275 lbs.). Both trench behemoths claim Ducks interest with Moala saying, “I’ve always grown up a fan of Oregon… They have been recruiting me about as hard as anyone right now.” As well, Dowling indicated that “Oregon is recruiting me really hard right now.” With the need at offensive line an ever present priority, the chances of one or both tackles donning Lighting Yellow and Thunder Green could become a real possibility.
(Dowling/Moala highlights unavailable)
This past Saturday, in one of the more sloppy editions of the Portland-based Nike Hoop Summit, Oregon prospect Anthony Bennett (5-Star/Henderson, NV/Rivals150) hit a desperation three-pointer to propel the World Squad over host USA, 84-75. The Canadian-born Bennett finished the showcase with a quiet seven points and 11 boards, but his wild, rafter-rattling trey went down as the play of the night. Trailing by as many 18 points, the U.S. squad battled back but could not overcome Bennett’s dagger in the final minute of play. On Sunday morning, Bennett made the trip south to Eugene for an unofficial visit to Oregon’s campus. (Look for an update on Bennett’s visit next week.)
It’s no secret that Head Coach Dana Altman is a master at weaving rosters together. Preps, transfers, and JC players with completely different backgrounds come to Eugene and, under Altman’s tutelage, seamlessly add to the melting pot that is Oregon Basketball.
While Bennett’s visit headlined the weekend, the Ducks landed a verbal commitment from fellow visitor, shooting guard Devon Branch (3-Star/Concordia, KN). At the conclusion of his visit, Branch confirmed that “Yes, I did (commit),” to play for Oregon. A 6’6, 190 lb. guard, Branch averaged 20 points and shot 51% from the field at Cloud Community College. The Midwestern product comes to Eugene with two years eligibility and a 41% average from beyond the arc that could immediately produce results this upcoming season.
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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