Should the Ducks Fly With the Freakish 5-Star Athlete, Nyckoles Harbor?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

By now most Oregon fans have heard about a new Oregon football recruiting target for the February 1st signing date in Archbishop Carroll High School, (Washington D.C.) 5-Star wonder-athlete, Nyckoles Harbor. He is an amazing story, and incredible athlete that has 46 offers from all the top schools across the nation. It was announced recently that he will be visiting Oregon on January 27th, and being the last visit could be the key factor in his commitment. Analyzing talent is a skill, those who have it look for jobs as a football scout on Jooble, although this player analysis takes us down many tangents.

But there are many contradictory aspects to his recruitment, and I have to ask if he and Oregon are truly a match?

No, I am not off my meds, and I have to acknowledge the crazy numbers associated with this young man–like 47 sacks in two years? At 6’6″ and a football weight of 235, he is lightweight as a pass-rushing defensive end in college, and he would be more exposed to injury. He has stated how he does not want to add weight which would hurt his Track career, thus why he has indicated recently an interest to play on the offensive side of the ball.

Many have projected him as a Tight End, but again–I believe he needs more weight for blocking defensive ends and linebackers, and will expose himself to injury at that position as Cam McCormick can attest to. I see him more as a wide receiver who compares with DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks, who is 6’4″ and 235 pounds and can haul down the big passes. However, as Devon Allen has shown–there is injury potential at that position as well.

Nyckoles Harbor is very serious about a sprinting future, and has aspirations for the Olympics.

Why all this discussion of injury? Harbor is serious about being a sprinter in Track, and his 20.79 time in the 200 meters confirms his bona-fides. His 100 meter best of 10.28 is better than Metcalf’s 10.37, (And Harbor has his high school senior track season yet) thus the reasonable parallel at wide receiver can be made along with the assertions of Harbor being the next superstar of two sports.

Good gosh, how can any school match the world-class facility and coaching at Hayward Field? He acknowledges that in a recent interview where he summarized, “it really is probably the best of both worlds in terms of track facilities, football facilities, just the whole brand.”

An athlete of this stature is what Oregon fans (and Phil Knight) would have hoped for as an ancillary benefit from the stunning track stadium on Agate street in Eugene. The promotion potential of NIL in both sports for this young man is unlike any other to date, and the presence of Nike shouts to a perfect match in his recruitment.

Yet Nyckoles Harbor confirms his fluctuation in weight between 235 in football to a slim 220 by the end of Track season. He recognizes that he cannot safety flip such a high percentage of body weight each year, and in an interview with USA Today writer Tom Schad admitted that, “at the end of the day, my body will tell me which way I need to go. If going back and forth in weight is too much sometimes, then I’ll have to choose.”

“Sooner or later, I’m going to have to choose.”

Nyckoles Harbor had a final two of Michigan and South Carolina until Dan Lanning came along.

What if he eventually chooses Track, and burns a football scholarship in the process? Is that an end-game the coaches and fans would be comfortable with? All the hype associated with a 5-Star going down the drain, while being a distraction from the rest of the team? Could this commitment hurt team chemistry if things on the football side don’t turn out as planned?

I also have reservations about him ultimately having the world-class speed required to be in the 100 meter Olympic final. A Track direction never mentioned is how the Silver Medalist at the London Olympics in the Decathlon from the US was Trey Hardee, who was 6’5″ and 212. Could a successor to Ashton Eaton begin in Eugene as a football player?

Perhaps he ends up on a partial Track scholarship, but the NIL sustains him comfortably through his college career so he can focus on training? Or does he fulfill his massive potential as the nations best wide receiver? Considering all the scenarios, (and not all to the Oregon football fans’ liking) is recruiting Nyckoles Harbor a good fit for Oregon after all?

Look, I can be oblivious at times, but I am not crazy; of course you take the chance on a scholarship with Harbor, but with the understanding that we cannot assume he will be the automatic success that usually comes with 5-Star players. But he would be great fun to watch sprinting in lanes, or running pass patterns as we discuss it all in the forum-with-decorum because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
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