Oregon Locking Horns with Alabama Over 5-Star Prospects

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The Oregon Ducks are stacking up on offense amid the current recruiting cycle as they look to challenge for top honors next term. The program has commitments from three 4-Star prospects out of the six in their class, and is in pole position to swoop for three of the best offensive players in the country.

“Speaking of Oregon, man, they’ve got one of the best receivers in the country committed — Jurrion Dickey,” 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong was quoted as saying on Wiltfong’s Whiparound this week. “We have Jurrion Dickey ranked as the No. 10 receiver in the country. That’s not going to stick. He’s going up. He was fantastic at the Overtime OT7 event.” So they have Jurrion Dickey in the fold. Maybe they get Dante Moore, the coveted quarterback as well?

“I think that Oregon’s the biggest challenger to Alabama for five-star running back Richard Young out of the Sunshine State. Alabama had him on campus this weekend, but I’m keeping a close eye on Oregon there. Kenny Dillingham doing a great job recruiting Dante Moore and Richard Young.”

“And how about Samson Okunlola, a five-star offensive tackle from out East? He’s looking at several schools, but I think Oregon’s in a really, really good position for him, having him on campus earlier this spring as well.”

“So, Oregon looking for another No. 1 class in the Pac-12. Maybe they’re in the mix for a top-10 class, which would be the third time in the last five cycles we’ve seen them as high. But Oregon, starting to build a lot of buzz on the trail.”

Donte Moore would boost Oregon’s 2023 recruiting class enormously…

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There are especially high hopes for Young, who is expected to be a second or third-round NFL Draft pick in the future. The running back is the No. 24 prospect on a national scale and is No.2 in his position in the 247Sports Composite. The player recently visited Alabama and is now at Notre Dame, while visits to Georgia and Oregon are also scheduled.

“One of the most coveted prospects to come out of Southwest Florida in recent memory,” 247Sports analyst Andrew Ivins says of the player. “A one-cut-and-go type of running back that’s powerful enough to get it done in-between the tackles. Excellent vision and overall feel for the position allows him to get up field in a hurry and attack holes.”

“Outstanding contact balance combined with an effective stiff arm makes it extremely difficult for high school defenders to bring him to the ground. Has experience working out of single back, Shotgun and Pistol formations. Limited context when it comes to pass blocking, but should be able to chip away at college-sized defensive linemen given his size and physical nature. Track background shows up on Friday nights as he’s consistently pulling away from defenses.”

“Catches the ball well and should be able to move the chains via the screen game, if those type of plays are on the call sheet. Wear and tear not much of a concern at this stage in his development as he’s averaged only 12 carries a game his first two years of high school. Likely to emerge as an impact player for a Top 25 program given foot speed and ability to shed would-be tacklers. Will be on the radar of NFL scouts one day if everything comes together.”

Samson Okunlola is on everyone’s wish list to build an offense around…

Okunlola, meanwhile, is an offensive line prospect currently attracting lots of attention. He has received offers from 46 schools and ranks as the No.20 prospect nationally and the No.3 offensive tackle. He will be visiting Alabama on the weekend.

Oregon, though, got two collegiate transfers this week in quarterback Jake Van Dyne from Missouri State and offensive tackle Brayden Zolkoske from Merced College.

“Thank you to everyone for helping me throughout this journey. I’m blessed to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Oregon,” Van Dyne tweeted as his announcement.

The QB entered the transfer portal after two seasons with Missouri State, having completed 14 of 33 passes for 162 yards in 2020 and 2021 for four interceptions with no touchdowns. The 6ft 3in, 193lb freshman joins scholarship QBs Bo Nix, Jay Butterfield, and Ty Thompson. He will have three years of eligibility left, while Zolkoske, 6ft 7in and 310lbs, who attended Tigard High School in Oregon will also have up to three years left to play.

“I am happy to say I will be continuing my football career at the University of Oregon. Thank you for the opportunity,” he tweeted this week. Watch the recruiting buzz build at Oregon!

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