Oregon’s newest coaching hire, defensive line front man Ron Aiken, is wasting no time in assembling a venerable commit list. This past Monday saw the addition of defensive end Jalen Jelks (3-Star/Phoenix, Ariz.) to the Duck fold and further reinforced Oregon’s commitment to winning the trench war. “I didn’t think I would commit before my (senior) season, but I woke up thinking hard about this season and our camp starts tomorrow,” said Jelks. “In the end I think this is the best decision for me and my family.”
At only 16 years of age, Jelks stands 6-foot-7 and tips the scales at an impressive 260 pounds. Coupled with an impressive wingspan, Jelks’ athleticism sets him apart from other preps.
“I’m only 16 and it’s scary, but I think I might still get taller. Oregon has told me they want to bring me in at defensive end, but I could grow into a defensive tackle,” he said.
Paired alongside the likes of current Duck behemoths Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, the Ducks could post one of tallest, let alone most agile lines in the country in 2015. Jelks’ pledge brings Oregon’s commitment total to nine and could set off a domino effect heading into the fall months.
Head coach Mark Helfrich and his staff are methodically combing the junior college ranks for untapped talent. A new target, linebacker Edward Muldrow (3-Star/Snellville, GA), is rapidly gaining attention for tenacious rush disruption and sideline to sideline speed. An athletic 6-3 and 215 pounds., Muldrow is a lock to visit the Ducks in the near future.
“Oregon, I like them a lot,” said Mudrow. “The defensive coordinator (Nick Aliotti) came and saw me last spring and they really like me. The linebacker coach (Don Pellum) said I’m fast and I run like a horse. I’ll definitely take a visit there and check them out.”
While Muldrow is almost a country’s distance away, don’t sleep on the fact that Oregon is running away with a national brand race that is rapidly gaining the favor of preps far and wide.
Traveling small forward Kameron Chatman (4-Star/Portland, Ore./Rivals150) will return home to Oregon after spending the previous two seasons at renowned Long Beach Polytechnic. A one-time budding star at Jefferson High School, Chatman headed south after his freshman year in order to gain exposure, but is opting to spend his final prep campaign in more familiar confines.
Oregon head coach Dana Altman knows the value of prime talent so close to Eugene and is reportedly pulling out all the stops in an effort to land Chatman. Following his recent transfer, the 6-5 forward will face his stiffest competition on the AAU circuit, but nonetheless remains near the top of Oregon’s big board, stay tuned!
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