With Oregon making its final preparations for a mid-afternoon clash with Florida State on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl, several future Ducks are shaking the rust for their final moments in prep pads. Quarterback Travis Waller (4-Star/Anaheim, CA/Rivals100), running back Taj Griffin* (4-Star/Powder Springs, GA/Rivals100) and offensive lineman Zach Okun (4-Star/Newbury Park, CA/Rivals250) will don U.S. Army All-American Bowl colors (Jan. 3rd), while defensive end Canton Kaumatule (4-Star/Honolulu, HI/Rivals250) and receiver Alex Ofodile (4-Star/Columbia, MI/Rivals250) will represent Eugene’s future in the Under Armour All-American Bowl (Jan. 2nd).
(*Griffin is still recovering from an ACL tear earlier this season and will not participate).
Oregon’s prep stock has already garnered attention after mere moments of practice with Okun and Kaumatule receiving high marks during drills.
In a one-on-one line clash, Okun is said to have been the only prep to match wills with consensus #1 defensive line prospect Kahlil McKenzie.
“I just had the moment of my life, I just stopped Khalil McKenzie,” said Okun via 24/7’s Justin Hopkins.
Impressive footwork and a high motor kept the 6-foot-4, 327 lb. trench warrior in the battle and quickly turned heads following the conclusion of the drill.
“When the pads were on and Okun was playing on the interior where he was comfortable, he was extremely effective,” said director of 24/7 scouting Barton Simmons. “In fact, he handled McKenzie better than any other offensive lineman.”
On the other side of the ball, Kaumatule was making waves in getting to the “quarterback” during one-on-ones. “Oregon commit Canton Kaumatule is a monster,” said ESPN recruiting analyst Tom VanHaaran. “He used his athleticism well.” The 6-foot-7, 275 lb. Islander continued to draw praise, this time from the southeast after he blew up several opposing players. “Oregon DE commit Canton Kaumatule has been the most impressive prospect for me so far today,” said Rivals recruiting analyst Woody Wommack.
Be sure to tune in to watch all of the Oregon commits play in their respective bowls beginning on January 2nd with the Under Armour All-American Bowl at 1 p.m. PST on ESPN2 and the following day, January 3rd, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl beginning at 12 p.m. PST on NBC.
For up-to-the-minute recruiting news, please visit our friends at Duck Territory, who graciously provide FishDuck.com with in-depth analysis and player-generated material. Look for my latest recruiting update every Wednesday. WTD!!!
Top photo by Kevin Cline
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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