On the eve of my one-year anniversary with the fine folks of FISHDUCK, the news concerning Chip Kelly’s departure reared its head. As I processed the early morning ESPN text alert, I was strangely at peace with the announcement and similarly to new headman Mark Helfrich, directed my thoughts to February 6th and beyond. While not wittiest or most outspoken individual, Helfrich may prove to be the catalyst Oregon needs to remain steadfast as one of the nation’s elite.
“Coaching Oregon is the pinnacle for me…”
Brooks pulled the dilapidated muscle car from the junkyard, Bellotti started the frame off restoration, Kelly dropped a 5.7L 350 in, painted the body and laced her up with “Go Baby Go“…
Now handed the keys, Helfrich opens the garage… adds his own personal blend of high octane… and Mighty Oregon hits a new gear flying down MLK Blvd., WTD!!!
Moments after his press conference, Helfrich and several assistants hit the recruiting trail in an effort to solidify our current recruiting class. Locals Oregon commits Thomas Tyner (5-Star/Beaverton, OR/Rivals#4RB), Evan Voeller (4-Star/West Linn, OR), and Doug Brenner (3-Star/Portland, OR) all received in-home visits with Tyner offering boisterous praise of Oregon’s new caretaker. “It was awesome… Helfrich is real cool and just so friendly,” said the newly reminted 5-star tailback.
Rounding out the northwest, Eugene-bound linebacker Danny Mattingly (3-Star/Spokane, WA) reaffirmed his pledge to the Ducks after Helfrich & Co. journeyed across the Columbia Monday night. Heading down the coast, tight end Johnny Mundt (3-Star/Modesto, CA) continued the trend of Oregon commits standing by their new coach.
Despite an official visit amid the chaos of a coaching change, offensive tackle Cameron Hunt’s (4-Star/Corona, CA/Rivals250) interest in joining Steve Greatwood’s trench crew is growing. “I think even with Chip leaving, Helfrich is a great hire for the program,” said Hunt. “I talked with a lot of the team and they respect him and they all the love the hire… I definitely loved (my) visit.” The 6’5″, 275 lb. lineman has Oregon in his top two program choices and will make a decision on signing day.
Wide receiver DeMarcus Ayers (3-Star/Lancaster, TX), friend of Oregon commit Dontre Wilson (4-Star/DeSoto, TX/Rivals250), is hoping to land a Oregon offer and may be in Eugene before signing day. A dual threat quarterback who takes snaps at wide receiver, the 5’11”, 175 lb. Ayers masterfully turns broken plays into positive yards and has game breaking field vision.
A late-in-the game prospect, linebacker Quinton Powell (4-Star/Daytona Beach, FL/Rivals250) will visit the Ducks February 2nd. Standing 6’2″, 194 lbs., Powell would be an Oregon signing day sensation if his slated official goes according to plan.
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 every 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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