Signing day is coming
The SEC is getting fat
Please put a top 300 dude
In Coach Helf’s recruiting hat!
If you don’t have a 300
Then a few 400’s will do
If you don’t have any 400’s
Puddles turns from green to blue!
The annual mating ritual between high school football players and college football (‘CFB’) head coaches culminates on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. The day when multi-millionaire adults find out whether their dogged, determined, manic seduction of teenage boys has borne fruit?
Other than for injuries, I find this out of control pursuit of young men to be the worst thing about CFB. However, I have no remedy — and a player should, of course, have the right to buy whatever a coach is selling and sign with the school of his choice.
Talk about pulling out all the stops! Coach Khaki is hosting a ‘Singing of the Stars Day’ this Wednesday in Ann Arbor. This follows on the heels of the head coach of ‘that school up north’ having a sleep-over with a prized recruit. Fortunately, he is not the head coach of the women’s basketball team.
In positive pre-signing day news, the Golden Domers have extended coach Brian Kelly’s contract through 2021 in an effort to quell rumors of Kelly bolting to the NFL.
On the other hand, Yahoo Sports today reported that Ole Miss is under NCAA investigation for violations involving the football team and the women’s basketball and track & field teams. This cannot help Mississippi recruiting, currently ranked as high as #4, and the SEC vultures are no doubt circling Oxford.
Closer to home, Pac-12 recruiting efforts are currently ranked as follows by 247 Sports:
1. UCLA – 15 nationally (‘N’);
2. Stanford – 16 N;
3. USC – 20 N;
4. ASU – 22 N;
5. Oregon – 24 N;
6. UW – 26 N;
7. Cal – 35 N;
8. Utah – 36 N;
9. Oregon State – 42 N;
10. WSU – 51 N;
11. Arizona – 54 N;
and poor old Colorado at 12 and 74 N.
UW is reported by ESPN to be ‘on the rise’ and USC could jump up the Pac-12 and national rankings if it signs its top five or six recruits. That the SEC has eight of its teams currently ranked in the Top 10 should come as no surprise when approximately 70% of the top-ranked recruits are from the South. Signing Day is an annual self fulfilling prophecy in SEC country.
Hopefully the Ducks will close the deal on its top targets and new D coordinator Brady Hoke will reel in a few D guys who are considered to be long shots, at best. Regardless, no coaching staff has done better over the last decade in coaching its players up than has the Oregon crew.
There is many a recruiting site up and running today from ESPN on down. While there is usually agreement on the 5-star recruits, there are significant differences among these sites as to who is considered to be a 3- or 4- star recruit. I believe every serious Duck fan knows that Marcus Mariota’s highest ranking was three stars, and most sites had him as a 2-star or even not rated. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Many believe the Kardashian girls are gorgeous. In my opinion the ladies haven’t really gotten that great of a return on their obviously substantial investment in all the beauty the best plastic surgeons can provide. I think that if Mama-san has another face lift her lips will end up located directly below her eyebrows.
So, I really do not get freaked out when a site such as Rivals lists the Ducks as ‘the team that will most disappoint in recruiting this year.’ I don’t see it. It’s true that Oregon may not close on a few 4-star guys yet to commit, but overall it is looking good.
Seven future Duck players have already enrolled. And the ultimate recruiting evaluations will not include the ‘recruitment’ of FCS QB transfer Dakota Prukop who is already on campus, enrolled and ready to participate in spring ball. Beating out Alabama and Lane Kiffin for Dakota makes his signing even more sweet. I do not believe Dakota is the athlete that Vernon Adams is (who is?), but he is way ahead of the Vernon Curve by being able to process the system in the spring and to work with his receivers and other skill guys the entire (so-called) off season.
Oregon has rounded up the quality ‘usual suspects’ from that state down south. No Pac-12 team can or will prosper without dipping into the ranks of California high school players. Additionally — and showing the Ducks’ national influence — recruits are as of today on board from Hawaii, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
At least three guys from the state of Oregon will be matriculating in Eugene. And, as a Central Oregonian, I am most pleased that TE Cam McCormick from Bend’s Summit High School will be joining the Ducks. In addition to playing football Cam ran track and was a member of Summit’s 4 X 100 relay team.
Again, I am not one enamored with star rankings before the kids show up and play ball, but compared to a decade ago, Oregon is obviously on the map and bringing in far more 4-star guys.
So, without dinging guys who are not as star struck as other recruits, it looks like the Ducks will be receiving the football playing services of:
4-STARS: DB Brady Breeze (ain’t no one gonna breeze by this guy!);
RB and leading rusher in the US Army All-American Game, Vince Malepeai;
WR Dillion Mitchell;
ATH Lamar Winston;
DE/LB Bryson Young;
QB Terry Wilson (who flipped from the Cornhuskers — TAKE THAT MIKE RILEY!)
and LB AJ Hotchkins from the JC ranks.
For a million dollars (well, maybe for $1 Most Large) I would not leave Oregon for Alabama, which geographically is basically the bowels of the North American continent. But as a practical matter, Eugene is far off the beaten path when it comes to the majority of big time high school football recruits. So much the better when the Ducks, with so-called lesser talent, finally fly home with the Championship Trophy!
Happy Meat Market Day!
Top Photo from Video
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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