Football Recruiting News
With his hiring in January, assistant coach Joe Salave’a instantly became one of Oregon’s best ambassadors. His pull has already become very apparent in that of the responses from several visiting preps, none bigger than Tuli Letuligasenoa (4-Star/Concord, Calif.).
“The visit was great, the facilities were top notch and just the whole campus was beautiful!” said Letuligasenoa.
The southern-California trenchman sits at a prototypical 6’2, 295 lbs. However, quick hands and the ability to shed blocks with ease, a crucial aspect that has been missing from Oregon defensive line, sets the to-be senior apart in the mind of Salave’a.
“The coaches showed me a lot of love and were honest to me, telling me that they are recruiting me to come in and play as a true freshman. That was the best thing because I really do want to play right away!”
When’s too early?
There’s no such thing inside the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
In stark contrast from the Mark Helfrich years, headman Willie Taggart has no qualms about offering preps in the infancy of their recruitment cycles. This past weekend, Taggart and Co. entertained northwest defensive line product and early 2020 consensus No. 1 overall recruit Sav’ell Smalls (NR/Seattle), and by all accounts already made an impression on him.
Listed at a stout 6’4, 225 lbs., Smalls, who recorded 17 sacks coming off the edge as a freshman at vaunted Garfield High School, is the type of prep who could generate early noise in Jadeveon Clowney fashion. A drop-end who can also line up with a hand in the dirt, expect Smalls to be an early favorite on Oregon’s big board moving forward. While the Ducks are a tough sell with Chris Peterson‘s noisy neighbors in his backyard, continue to watch Taggart and Co. make strides in a battle with Washington and southern foe USC over the final three years of Small’s prep career.
For Small’s highlights, please click here.
With a name like Cota, family ties to Oregon can not be more overstated. In-state wide receiver prep Chase Cota (4-Star/Medford, Ore.), son of former Oregon great Chad Cota, could be Taggart’s biggest in-state pickup of the 2018 recruiting period.
Some would term Cota a legacy recruit, but he says that he likes Oregon because of opportunities to play early.
“After this year, they lose some taller guys and after that they don’t really have any lengthy wideouts there or that are coming in from the ’17 class to go against bigger corners,” said Cota. “So they are letting me know I am very wanted to come fill that role.”
At 6’3.5, 185 lbs., Cota will no doubt bulk up heading into his senior year, a trait that has become prized even among deep-threat receivers. A strong 2017 campaign in Eugene will seal Cota’s journey north. Stay tuned!
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Feature Photo by John Sperry
Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/Paramedic and an avid Oregon Ducks fan. Prior to the fire service, Flores, a graduate of nearby Corban University, spent over seven years in professional journalism including a stint at the Statesman Journal in Salem and held the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban). A career transition however never dampened his love of writing and FishDuck is now his source to share his love of Mighty Oregon. Flores brings detailed knowledge of Oregon recruiting to the FishDuck team and welcomes your feedback.
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