Less than 100 days separate us from the Oregon season opener. Behind the scenes, the Ducks continue to cultivate the recruiting fields in order to make strides towards future dominance. With tailback Dontre Wilson’s (4-Star/DeSoto, TX) commitment in place, Oregon continues to expand its reach into previously “one-in-a-million chance” territory. No longer are the Midwest, Southern, and even the lower West Coast regions dominated by strictly local programs. In every sense of the word, Oregon has clearly become a national power both on the field and in the minds of America’s prep stars.
Highly-touted safety Max Redfield (4-Star/Mission Viejo, CA/Rivals100) isn’t shy about his interest in the Ducks. Currently in a heated battle with “Lane Kiffin’s lackies,” Oregon will host Redfield sometime before the beginning of the 2012 season. “I really feel like my visit to Oregon will help give me the info I need to make a decision,” said Redfield. (Obviously recognizing the Duck’s prowess on the gridiron, Redfield may simply be waiting to visit Oregon before committing to play for Head Coach Chip Kelly. A verbal and subsequent signed LOI from Redfield will have De’Anthony Thomas-type ramifications and could set the Ducks up as the program-of-choice for aspiring defenders).
Dual-threat Quarterback Anthony Jennings (4-Star/Marietta, GA) spent time over the weekend taking in the sights and sounds of Duckville. “Oregon was really good… The facilities were insane, and I spent a lot of time talking to Coach Kelly,” said Jennings. “He just let me know they loved my athleticism and he thought I would be perfect for their offense.” In an effort to “focus on (his prep team),” Jennings plans to announce his commitment sometime over the next two weeks. (The Elite-11 Quarterback MVP in his region, Jennings bears accuracy in the face of defenders and flashes his feet on broken plays. Given the quarterback’s ability to thrive in Oregon’s system, this writer believes Jennings will announce his intention to become a Duck in the near future).
Fellow southern prep, wide receiver Juwaan Williams (3-Star/Tucker, GA), recently received a Ducks offer, calling it “a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Williams, a 6’1, 180 lb. route runner, intends to visit Eugene during the summer, saying “(It’s) definitely a big offer for me… That’s a big-time school and a wide open offense. Coach Neal was telling me they like how I handle things and my character off the field.” (Williams appears to value the intangible of self-discipline and is clearly a hot commodity on Oregon’s target list).
A southwest region super prep, linebacker Mike Mitchell (4-Star/Plano, TX/Rivals100) is as even-keeled as he his athletic. “He’s really quiet and really humble, but he’s also really sure of himself. He just likes to win and compete,” said father Ken. “I know (he) got pretty excited when Oregon offered.” The 6’4, 225 lb. defensive force is said to be planning an Oregon visit and would like to “see the campus at some point.” (Obviously intrigued by what the Ducks have to offer, look for Mitchell’s interest in Oregon to increase over the coming months).
Newly offered northwest-based athlete Danny Mattingly (3-Star/Spokane, WA) made it known that he will turn up in Eugene this coming weekend. “I’m planning on going to Oregon…for sure.” (Mattingly’s 6’5, 225 lb. frame makes him a versatile asset on both sides of the ball. With undeniable athleticism, watch for Oregon’s coaching staff to increase contact with the local product).
Oregon’s recent “twins addition” of Stephen and Eric Amoako (3-Star(s)/Arlington, TX) may have company in the near future. West Coasters Tyree and Tyrell Robinson (4-Star(s)/San Diego, CA) have specified that they are “pretty serious about Oregon” and will delve into their calendar to set a visitation date. (Slated as potential dual-sport prospects (Football/Basketball), the 6’4, 180-185 lb. twins have the capacity to instantly contribute if they opt to don Lightning Yellow and Thunder Green).
(Robinson Twins Football Highlights Unavailable)
Island-based lineman Reeve Koehler (4-Star/Honolulu, HI/Rivals250) is feeling mainland pull from the Ducks, as he freshly stated “Oregon… (is) showing me a lot of interest right now.” The 6’3, 280 lb. trench behemoth ranks nationally amongst offensive guards and will give Oregon “a good, hard look” before making a final decision. (The Ducks bear a prep connection with Koehler as he and current signal-caller Marcus Mariota shared the prep colors of vaunted St. Louis High School. If the race to sign Koehler becomes a game of inches, details such as this may bode well for Oregon).
Safety Jalen Banks (3-Star/Havey, Ill), a “physical” defender with “great footwork,” will visit the Ducks to attempt to make an impression. “Oregon is one of my dream schools and definitely going to be among one of my finalists when I narrow things down,” said Banks. “I really want to meet the coaches and I’m impressed with the coaches I’ve met already.” (Currently, Banks maintains a recruiting rapport with Coaches John Neal and Scott Forst. An offer will undoubtedly be extended if Banks preforms well during his camp visit).
WE, THE GREEN AND YELLOW, WE – THE DUCK FAITHFUL!!!
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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