Oregon has never been the biggest player in the JUCO ranks due to a crop of venerable prep recruiting classes. Recently however, stars such as former offensive lineman Kyle Long seem to have upped the Ducks’ interest in the junior college pipeline. Last week, Oregon received commitments from two highly touted recruits in that of defensive end Tui Talia (3-Star/Pleasant Hill, CA) and cornerback Dominique Harrison (3-Star/San Pablo, CA).
At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Talia may have just begun his athletic maturation. (Click here for Talia highlights).
“This was his first year with his hand in the dirt. When he came out of high school he was only 230 pounds and played middle linebacker,” said Diablo Valley coach Mike Darr. “He’s only scratched the surface of his potential.”
Talia made a living on the line getting to opposing quarterbacks and followed up his tenacious play with solid stops in the run game. Once committed elsewhere, Talia’s enthusiasm to give his pledge to the Ducks is clearly evident.
“Oregon is always where I wanted to go. I’ve been a huge Duck fan in the first place since high school and that’s where I’m committed to,” said Talia.
Less than 10 miles away from Talia, Oregon’s newest defensive back is primed to shine.
“I think (Dominique) had three picks that day in practice when coach (Nick) Aliotti was here,” said Contra Costa head coach Alonzo Carter. “Dominique was the No. 1 guy in the state of California for interceptions last year. I know Oregon was impressed and they ended up offering. He thought about it for 24 hours and talked it over with his parents and committed.”
The six-foot, 185-pound Harrison is the quintessential ball-hawking defender who comes up with big stops in critical one on one match ups. Aided by post-prep experience, expect Harrison to be in the mix for playing time when he arrives at Oregon.
Jack-of-all-trades Budda Baker (4-Star/Bellevue, WA/Rivals100) may be one of the most prized tabbed athletes since De’Anthony Thomas. Playing both sides of the ball at 5-foot-11 and 178 pounds, Baker wowed all in attendance at the latest edition of the Eugene Nike Football Training Camp held this past weekend.
The undisputed top skill player at the camp, Baker’s reaction time and build were constant topics of conversation amongst attendees. Already possessing a Ducks offer, two sources close to his recruitment indicated that Baker has a strong possibility to “quack, quack” come signing day, stay tuned!
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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