While the focus of Oregon’s spring rests predominantly on the shoulders of events transpiring inside The Mo, the Ducks continue to make tracks on the recruiting trail, handing out a pair of offers to athletes Conner O’Brien (3-Star/Santa Margarita, CA) and lineman J.D. Hinnant (3-Star/Fountain Valley, CA).
At 6’3, 210 lbs., O’Brien, who plays both linebacker and safety, may one day line up as a Duck Rover. “Oregon really caught my eye. Their facilities were incredible and the stadium was amazing,” said O’Brien, following his trip to Eugene. “I’d have to say right now Oregon has caught my attention more than any other program.”
Fellow west-coast product Hinnant may add his 6’4, 255 lb. build to the Duck’s offensive line. While a bit undersized, Hinnant possesses blocking skills tailor-made for the up-tempo style of the Oregon offense. “(Oregon) is a top-tier program. The school is amazing, all of the facilities,” said Hinnant after his unofficial visit. “Oregon is definitely high on my list right now.”
Athlete Jalen Ortiz (4-Star/Peoria, AZ) joined wide outs Demorea Stringfellow (4-Star/Moreno Valley, CA/Rivals250) and Darrell Daniels (4-Star/Oakley, CA/Rivals250) in expressing desire for an Oregon offer. “That’d be a nice school (Oregon) to get an offer from,” indicated Oritz. Stringfellow echoed his sentiments, calling Oregon “the main school I want an offer from right now.” Stringfellow’s contemporary, Daniels, isn’t bashful about what a Ducks nod would mean. “That’s a big one to me. I’ve been talking to coach (Nick) Aliotti quite a bit. I’m planning on going to their camp in June to try and earn that offer.” All three prep phenoms have the intangibles to make an instant impact at Oregon. Offers will no doubt be extended in the near future.
Lineman Scott Quessenberry (4-Star/Encinitas, CA/Top247) is a bruiser on both sides of the trench. Throwing his 6’4, 265 lb. body into the fray, Quessenberry’s space-clearing blocks have caught Oregon’s attention.
“I have talked to Coach (Steve) Greatwood recently, and I think they are coming down to San Diego to check me out soon,” said Quessenberry. “They have talked to me about how much they like my film on both sides of the ball, especially my lateral movement on the offensive line.” With as much contact and positive feedback he’s received from Oregon, Quessenberry should expect a Ducks offer shortly.
Two tabbed athletes, Darrin Laufasa (2-Star/Bothell, WA) and Chris Seisay (3-Star/American Canyon, CA) both have the speed and grit necessary to don Lightning Yellow and Thunder Green. A punishing runner, Laufassa settles into the offensive backfield as a fullback/tailback hybrid, where his solid 6’1, 200 lb. frame opens holes to paydirt. In contrast, long open field strides and soft hands allow the 6’1, 185 lb. Seisay to contribute as a deep threat and on special teams. Both preps profess an interest in the Ducks, with Laufasa intending to visit Nike’s Camp held in Eugene later this spring. As well, Seisay noted that Oregon is on his short list and will “be by to evaluate me this spring.” Given the Ducks’ interest in versatile athletes, look for increased Oregon attention on both standouts once their final prep campaigns begin.
Head Coach Dana Altman is no stranger to extending opportunities to lesser-known players willing to buy into Oregon’s work-driven mantra. Following a visit, Oregon landed a preferred walk-on commitment from guard Coleton Baker (NR/Sutherlin, OR). Given the chance to suit up for the Ducks, Baker will have the means to compete for playing time and may one day garner a scholarship. At the juco level, Baker averaged 24.1 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 steals a game while shooting 44 percent from the field. Playing two years at a community college, the 6’3, 200 lb. guard holds a two year eligibility limit.
Track & Field Recruiting
Coming off three straight NCAA Indoor National Championships, the Oregon Women’s Track & Field squad inked three newcomers to bolster an already promising future in Tracktown, USA.
Transfer Katie Conlon comes to Eugene as the reigning NAIA Steeplechase National Champion. In 2011, Conlon set a school record steeplechase mark, turning in a time of 10:25.83.
(In.) Mile (4:59.94)
After clocking a 2:03.55 in the 800 meters, Canadian sensation Annie Leblanc will travel south to Eugene toting a 12th overall international ranking. Currently the three-time Canadian junior 800 meter title holder, Leblanc took silver-medalist honors in the same race at the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships.
Ashante Horsley, an Oregon product out of McMinnville High School, joins the Ducks as the current 6A state champion in the 400 meters. Horsley also excels in the long jump (2011 State Runner-Up) and 100 and 200 meters, where she finished third respectively in both events.
Long Jump (18-1.25)
On the men’s side, the Ducks welcome transfer Chris Stubbs. Originally from Eugene, Stubbs excelled in the junior college ranks, winning the 2009 NWAACC Championships in both the 100 and 200 meters. Stubbs will compete for the Ducks this coming spring with two years eligibility remaining in his collegiate career.
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 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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