Duck, Duck, Goose: Oregon’s Recruiting Chase Continues

Cameron Johansson Recruiting

It has been an eventful week for the Oregon Ducks as far as recruiting goes. The Ducks defense continued its momentum on and off the field. Mere hours before the Ducks held Stanford to just six points on the road, Bradyn Swinson of Douglasville, Georgia announced he was taking his talents to Eugene and committing to Oregon, adding depth to an already deep and talented front seven.

Fewer than 24 hours before Swinson’s commitment, an Oregon class of 2021 commit Seven McGee was deemed ineligible to play his junior season of high school football under a New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section V ruling.

On Wednesday morning, news dropped of Devon Williams‘ decision to commit and transfer to Oregon State, leaving the Ducks at the altar a second time.

With a lot to get to and much to discuss, lets start with the commitment of Bradyn Swinson.

Bradyn Swinson (left) poses with basketball recruit Scottie Barnes (right) during his visit to Autzen to watch the Ducks take down Montana.

Swinson, a strong-side defensive end in the class of 2020, committed to Oregon a week after his visit for the Montana game. At six feet, four inches and 245 pounds, the three-star will bring size and strength to the Ducks’ lineup. It was not exactly a Pac-12 recruiting war for Swinson, as the only other schools in the conference he received offers from were Arizona and Arizona State.

Like many other recruits, Swinson came away impressed with the closeness and family feel of the Ducks program. According to his 247Sports profile, it was coaches Ken Wilson and Joe Salave’a who sealed the deal.

In looking at his film, Swinson is a big, rangy athlete who can move. He has a knack for shedding blocks and getting to the ball carrier. Even from the outside pass rushing position, he is still able to work his way to the inside to get to the ball carrier. The opposing quarterback certainly knows where he is at all times because the two parties seem to meet each other quite often in the offensive backfield. It is impressive to see someone of Swinson’s stature move the way he does.

This commitment is bigger than securing a three-star defensive end. Because he is from Georgia, the Ducks’ recruiting strategy of recruiting outside their typical boundaries seems to be working out. In recent years, the Ducks have been fairly innovative in terms of where they recruit. Southern California and Hawaii have been a staple over the past few seasons, but luring a kid from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest is not an easy task. Having said that, over the past few seasons, Oregon has made it work. Jordon Scott, Gus Cumberland, Mycah Pittman and Dallas Warmack are some of the notable rostered players from the land of the SEC.

Let’s move from Georgia to upstate New York, where a 2021 Oregon commit found himself on the wrong side of a Section V ruling.

The McGee story with the Ducks is a bit confusing. Back in April of 2018, McGee committed to Oregon. He then decommitted, took a couple visits to Nebraska and to the hometown team, Syracuse. In late November, McGee took another visit to Eugene and re-committed. Got all that?

According to a 247Sports article written by Kevin Wade, at the conclusion of McGee’s sophomore season at East High School in Rochester, New York, he transferred to Narbonne High School in Harbour City, California. After attending Narbonne for just over a month, McGee decided to transfer back to East.

Seven McGee poses for a photo shoot dawning Ducks’ gear while attending the Saturday Night Live recruiting event.

To provide a little more information on what Section V is, taken from their website,”Section V Athletics provides oversight and organization for interscholastic athletic programs in a large region of New York State.”

According to Section V rules, McGee’s failure to properly complete the transfer process made him ineligible for his junior season.

At the end of the day, the 58th ranked prospect in the 2021 recruiting class is back at East High School watching his team play. It’s not exactly clear why McGee decided to transfer and then promptly transfer back to East. However, the Ducks currently have two commitments in their 2021 class, the other being Anthony Beavers Jr, who, ironically, attends Narbonne High School.

Ducks fans and coaches should hope that the year off doesn’t negatively effect McGee’s future. Taking a year off from football could be a good thing in some cases where the player comes back even stronger, like Oregon freshman Mase Funa, but in the developing stages of his career this could be a setback.

The 5’9 175 pound running back has already seen some time on Rich Brooks Field as he shined at Oregon’s biggest recruiting event of the summer, Saturday Night Live. The four-star recruit has drawn comparisons to former Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas. McGee possesses the type of quickness Oregon fans have grown accustomed to. According to 247Sports, McGee runs a 4.68 forty-yard dash, but on tape he appears significantly faster.

Finally, with the news breaking on Wednesday morning, Oregon State has landed highly touted transfer Devon Williams. The former USC wide receiver entered the infamous transfer portal only a few weeks ago and has decided to call Corvallis his new home. When he entered the portal in early September, all signs pointed toward Williams ending up with the Ducks, just as they did during his high school recruitment. In his Oregon Live article, Andrew Nemec wrote that, “In his initial recruitment, Williams was widely rumored to be an Oregon Ducks lean, joining the commitment group chat and having artwork made to announce his commitment.”

Devon Williams is going to be trading in his Crimson and Gold for Orange and Black, as he enrolled at Oregon State on Wednesday.

Obviously he didn’t end up in Eugene, opting at the eleventh hour to take his talents to Los Angeles, where he tallied 98 yards and a touchdown on five catches in his year and one game for the Trojans. After another visit to Eugene earlier this week, Rivals’ top athlete of 2018 ditched the Ducks a second time. Williams will have to sit out the remainder of this season, but one can’t help but think the 6-4, 210 pound wide out will make a major impact on the OSU offense.

As the season progresses, recruiting is starting to ramp up. With every home game comes a list of visiting recruits and the prospect of adding another big name to the commitment list. The 2020 class is beginning to take shape and, like 2019, looks promising. The 2021 class is obviously not as far along with only the two commits. But it’s early, and if the Ducks can hold onto a few of those scarce scholarship spots, there’s always the transfer portal.

Cameron Johansson
Eugene, Oregon                                                                                                                                                                                 Top Photo From Twitter


Phil Anderson, the Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.


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