Eric Amoako is the first of the two Amoako brothers to be introduced here on FishDuck (Stephen Amoako, also a Duck, is his twin brother). Now, some Duck fans may not have heard of either of these guys for a couple of reasons. One, they both redshirted their freshman year and stayed out of trouble. Two, the recent commitment of the Robinson twins is casting a bit of a shadow over their “twin” presence on the team. But fear not, they are a product of both the Chip Kelly era, and Texas high school football — needless to say, they can play some ball.
Eric was one of the first commitments of the 2012 recruiting class with his verbal to Oregon in May of 2011. He comes to us from Arlington, Texas, where he played primarily cornerback for the Martin High School Warriors. Eric was fortunate enough to play for a very prestigious program and high school coach (Bob Wager) and saw a great deal of team success finishing 6th in state his senior year.
Throughout his time there he earned Class 5A 1st and 2nd-team honors at defensive back and was ranked as the 25th best corner according to Scout.com. These recognitions were backed by some pretty impressive stat lines. In his junior campaign, Eric racked up 59 tackles, 3 INT’s, 3 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 sacks.
That kind of production propelled him up the recruiting ranks and was considered a legitimate 3/4 star prospect at the start of 2011. He didn’t just catch the attention of coach Kelly, but the attention of Kansas State, Pittsburgh, and Purdue as well. Upon choosing the Ducks, he went on to accumulate 50 tackles, 2 INT’s, and 6 pass deflections.
Here is a link to some high school highlights:
(though it says both Eric and Stephen’s names on the cover, it is indeed Eric highlighted at cornerback)
So what kind of player is he? And what exactly can he do for Oregon?
Standing at 5′ 11″ and 195 lbs., he is well-sized for a cornerback; however, his skill set makes him an asset at either safety or corner. He is an all-around ball hawk who can get the job done in anyway. Eric has great speed (4.49 40 yard dash), hard hits, excellent play recognition, and a solid ability to cover and keep up with all types of receivers. While it isn’t quite evident on tape, Eric does struggle with shedding blocks and getting to the quarterback on blitzes. Let’s just be happy he won’t have to ward off the consistently great blocks set by our Duck receivers.
As a former Duck comparison, he seems to have Jairus Byrd potential. One reason is that they share extremely similar height, weight, and measurements. Another reason ia that he was an extremely versatile and well-balanced defensive player who fit in at either the corner or safety position.
Redshirting his freshman year wasn’t about his ability, it was more about the log jam of upperclassman in Oregon’s secondary taking up all of the snaps. Projected depth charts have Eric listed in 3rd string roles at both corner and safety. Assuming he puts on a little weight, he might be best served at safety when key players such as Avery Patterson and Brian Jackson graduate. Expect Eric to spend 2013 as another year to grow and fulfill roles in “garbage” time or on special teams, but he definitely has the potential to become a vital part of Oregon’s secondary in his junior and senior seasons.
Having a deep secondary is quite a luxury. The Duck defense had a bit of a scare last year as guys like Boyett and Patterson went down with serious injury. Eric Amoako should take a bit of a backseat this year to our proven veterans, but should they go down don’t be surprised when this extremely versatile athlete starts turning some heads with a big hit on an OSU receiver coming down the middle on a slant route.
107 days. Go Ducks!
Joe Packer is a sophomore at the University of Oregon, majoring in Journalism. A Portland, Oregon native, he has been an avid Duck fan his whole life, attending his first of countless Duck football games at the age of 2. He played Lacrosse in high school, and today enjoys shooting hoops and a round of golf just about every day. As a player, referee, and youth sports coach, Joe looks to share his diverse perspective on the world of sports. He welcomes your feedback. Follow him on twitter: @JoePa_
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