Hey all, I thought I'd give a recap on recruiting so far as well as look forward to what could unfold over the next month.
How is Oregon doing so far?
This year's class is looking really promising. For what it's worth, Scout has us ranked #24 (17 commits), Espn has us at #20 (19 commits) and Rivals ranks us at #13 (19 commits). I'm going to be using the Rivals rating system through this article since I'm a homer.
According to Rivals.com, Oregon has a class, so far, with 8 4-star recruits and 10 3-stars. The 4-star standouts of the class are DT Jared Ebert, DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE/DE Christian French, OL Tyler Johnstone, QB Jerrard Randall, WR Tacoi Sumler, LB Anthony Wallace and OL Andre Yruretagoyena. The following guys are 3-stars who looks particularly promising in my opinion: LB/S Tyson Coleman, WR Rahsaan Vaughn, LB Rahim Cassell, LB Rodney Hardrick and RB Tra Carson.
Looking ahead, we have 19 commits so far, meaning there's 6 scholarships still available, possibly more if you consider greyshirts and guys who early enroll. Some in the recruiting community have questioned whether Oregon brought guys aboard too early, guys who are going to end up stealing spots from superior recruits. The players brought up most often tend to be DE Sam Kamp, OL Jamal Prater, OL James Euscher and LB Carlyle Garrick. Strictly my opinion here, but I don't think fault lies with the staff. They didn't have a way of being sure they'd be a recruiting power with this many 4-star players considering them this late in the game back in September/October. They had no way of knowing they'd be in the national championship. That said, I'm sure the players they extended offers to were ones they really liked. Ones that fit their system. Plus, as I briefly mentioned before, there are ways to get around the 25-commit max. I cannot envision a scenario where a 4-star recruit wants to commit and we turn him away, even if it's as late as National Signing Day.
Big-time players still considering UO
The future of this class is still really bright. It is a good class that could (and probably will) become great. Most seem to think that of the 6 open spots, Five are going to be filled by 4-star recruits. Who are those guys going to be?
OLB/ATH Colt Lyerla and WR/ATH Devon Blackmon are thought to be locks to commit. They're both going to be big time players at the next level and would be HUGE for this year's class going forward. In reality, both players have it narrowed down to UO/USC but I would be disappointed if we lost either of them.
After those two the next in line is DT Danny Shelton, another 4-star guy out of Washington who's narrowed it down to UO and UW. Even though he resides up north I like our chances of stealing him. He leads the way for a string of 4-star Defensive Lineman strongly considering Oregon. Others include Christian Heyward, Delvon Simmons and Kevin McReynolds. I wouldn't be surprised to see us land 2 of these 4 dangerous men.
Coming to the end of four-stars still strongly considering UO are S/ATH Marqise Lee and WR BJ Kelley.
Coaching Change Shake-Up
With coaching changes come de-commits. We're already seeing this with the Florida and Texas programs. Those two situations provide interesting opportunities for Oregon. The most widely publicized is #1 OG Christian Westerman looking, potentially, for a new landing spot outside of Texas. One reason the Ducks are considered front-runners if he chooses to leave is because his fellow teammate and lineman Tyler Johnstone is already committed to Oregon. Unless a lot of unforeseen events take place though, I don't see this one happening. Luckily, the coaching changes could have an effect on a highly touted WR and DT. Ju'Juan Story is a freak WR whose committed to Florida but is rumored to have been visiting Eugene with recent Duck commit Tra Carson. If he decides to leave Florida, I could definitely see him coming to Oregon. Imagining a WR class of Sumler/Vaughn/Blackmon/Story is almost too much. Another recruit we could end up stealing is Todd Barr, who chose California over Oregon. The guy who recruited him and his position coach Tosh Lupoi is rumored to possibly be headed to Texas, which would certainly give Oregon a huge edge. Keep an eye on these developments.
My Semi-Optimistic Prediction
This is who I believe will fill the final 6 spots available in the class of 2011.
OLB/ATH Colt Lyerla
WR/ATH Devon Blackmon
WR/CB/S Marqise Lee
DT Danny Shelton
WR B.J. Kelley
This would give us 14 four-star and 10 three-star players! That is a monster class.
So that's it. I'm not an expert on this so feel free to correct anything here or disagree. If any new information comes up post in the comments. I'll try and keep the comments up and make this a home here at ATQ for recruiting information over the next month.