What are the “experts” saying about the recruiting class? Many of the most knowledgeable are part of the pay-sites of which most of you don’t have access to. (Which is why you are on this free site!) I was thinking about offering my early assessment of the recruiting class signed thus far for 2019, but the truth is–it is just my opinion that is not always the most informed or thought out.
I have my moments, but it makes more sense to turn to those who have much greater expertise than I, such as Coach Ken Woody and Talent Evaluator Mike Kelly of FishDuck.com. Let’s see what they think of this recruiting class and the comments below are primarily from Mike Kelly.
The “Down Guys” in the Front Seven:
KEYON WARE-HUDSON – A prototypical two-gap “Fire Hydrant” (6’1.5/306). He is short in stature and uses that low leverage to drop an anchor and hold the point. He is very strong with a 40.5′ Power Ball, and when he adds 20 pounds–he will be a Nose Tackle who make everyone ask “Ika-who?” (He is stronger than Ika right now)
SUA’AVA POTI – 6’3/285 – He is the strongest Defensive lineman this Recruiting cycle and (48.5′ Power Ball) in the country, and is a relentless warrior.
BRANDON DORLUS – 6’2/270-Played at 8A level in Florida, and was a freak at that highest level of play. He was un-blockable, has a big motor and highly advanced hand skills already.
Both Poti and Dorlus possess superior skill sets with a variety of pass rush moves and creative use of their hands. They project as classic defensive ends in a 3-4 defense.
All three of these guys are going to put on 15 to 20 lbs of good weight over the next couple of years. They will form a wall that no one will be able to run on.
The Inside ‘Backers:
GE’MON EAFORD – 6’0/217, and a savage who will probably report at 230 lbs. He can bend and change direction quickly and sets a tough edge. He is very physical…
MASE FUNA – 6’2/245-A top-30 guy to come off of the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. He will start out on the inside before transitioning to his hand in the dirt as he gets bigger. He is a great player with a capital “G”.
DRU MATHIS – 6’3/235-He is really athletic, and prototypical NFL size. Very polished and bendy, with a nice Dip and Rip move along with a variety of other pass rush moves.
These inside linebackers compliment the front three in this class very well.
The Edge Guys:
ISAAC TOWNSEND-6’6/235 – He has the length and frame to transition to D-line later.
TREVEN MA’AE-6’4/240 – Great athlete (107.22 SPARQ) but very raw. It will take a year or so for the light to come on and him to reach his potential which is considerable. He has a very high ceiling.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX-6’4.5/239 – This is a very rare length/strength combo with twitch (4.30 shuttle). Compares to Michael Strahan, only probably a little more athletic. He will probably be the first edge rusher off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Coach Ken Woody states that Kayvon Thibodeaux–can play right away, like Troy Dye–has the same kind of quick instinctual nose for the ball that Dye has. The Ducks have figured out that they need speed and athleticism on defense, and this guy has it all, and information on him also places him as an outstanding young man who shines in other places other than just on the football field.
The Back End Defenders:
TRIKWEZE BRIDGES – 6’3/175-Tied Alabama State record with 36 career interceptions. He is not a great athlete, (74.46 SPARQ) but his hand/eye coordination, (ball skills) instincts and soft hands are elite.
MYKAEL WRIGHT – 5’11/180-He will arguably will be the best corner to ever to play at Oregon. A great (borderline freak) athlete (117.60 SPARQ). He could play (and excel) on either side of the LOS, and might even the best running back for the Ducks if he went to offense. He is a tough kid and twitched up (4.48 40-clock & 4.21 shuttle), and could be first or second CB off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
JOSH DELGADO – Decent size. He is the best athlete of the bunch (111.42 SPARQ) and played for big time programs, hence no D1 stage will be too big for him. He is twitchy (4.13 shuttle) and very strong (40′ power ball) for this position.
LANCE WILHOITE – He has great size (6’2.5) and is the No. 3 player (at any position) in this recruiting cycle in the state of Tennessee. He has a reported 4.54/40 with ball skills…
JARON (JR) WATERS – He has a great length/athleticism combo (6’2.5/94.71 SPARQ) and sinks well in/out of his cuts. He is a bit of a long strider, and catches the ball out away from his frame.
MYCAH PITTMAN – Blood lines prevail as his dad was a 4th round pick and played in the NFL for ten years. This kid is tough and has a bigger catching radius than his size would indicate.
PATRICK HERBERT – 6’5/225 – He is a long strider, who will probably be an H-back to start his career until he fills out. He has big soft mitts, and doesn’t fight the ball, thus a natural pass catcher. He catches it out away from his frame and doesn’t “fight” the ball. Big wing span/big radius, and a chain mover.
Coach Woody commented how Patrick Herbert is a big, 6-6 long strider–caught several deep balls this season with good speed and excellent hands and body control. He is the same kind of tight end that “Stanford has beaten the Ducks to death with in the past.”
JAYVAUN WILSON – 6’2/210- He is a thumper with some skills, as he can gap-bounce a little, and flashes some creativity in the open field. He can bend and run behind his pads down at the goal line making the safeties wish they were somewhere else.
This guy is going to be a terror in a couple of years when he’s 225 pounds running behind Oregon’s Offensive line.
Ken Woody felt that Sean Dollars looked a lot like a LaMichael James, as he is fast, can accelerate quickly, and is a combination of a tough runner and go-all-the-way guy.
Ken Woody told me that Cale Millen was an outstanding quarterback at Saturday Night Lights recruiting event during the summer. He has a strong arm, a quick release and seems to see the whole field; it is not a complete surprise as he has good blood lines. His dad Hugh, was an excellent quarterback for the Huskies and Cale obviously has been taught a lot about the position already.
Mike Kelly stunned me when he told me that the key to this recruiting class was Cale Millen! Mike explained that out of 171 athletes at the Las Vegas combine–Millen finished in the top 13% of all athletes, and not just quarterbacks. He was accepted into Northwestern, the Stanford of the Midwest, thus has the smarts in addition to the coaching from his father and that athleticism?
“The kid can flat-out play and will light the Pac-12 up, as he actually passes better than Mariota.”
Coach Ken Woody knows placekicking well as he beat the damn Huskies with his field goals for the Ducks. He feels that Camden Lewis can routinely hit them from 50 yards out, and he kicks the ball out of the end zone–and both of these are desperately needed by the Ducks. “This has been a weakness the past two years, and I watched film of him working out and he makes it look easy.”
The Pac-12 is RIPE for the Taking…
Mike Kelly felt that “this is the foundation of getting Oregon back to the playoffs, and with another class or two like this–the Ducks can stand toe-to-toe with the elite again.” He raved about the players assembled on defense and felt there could be three first round draft picks from this group if they develop to their full potential.
My friends, you can see why I consulted with these two as their feedback makes me even more giddy than yesterday, as,…
“Oh how we love to learn about the recruiting of our Beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck, safely out of his seat-belt)
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