Before we go in-depth on the targets of the 2017 class I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Sean Levy and I will be covering the recruiting news around here. I'm joining ATQ at a good time as national signing day has wrapped up and there is a new batch of recruits where I can have a fresh start. I have been covering recruiting for Sbnation for a little less than a year, but I have been following recruiting news for about three years. I believe recruiting is the bedrock a football team is built on and if you don't have a sound foundation everything will come crumbling down (i.e. Oregon State). I look forward to interacting with the you and supplying information you crave. You can find me on Twitter, @slevy1309, for any Oregon recruiting news.
Oregon has dramatically improved upon their recruiting efforts over the last 8 years and has been consistently within the the top 20 classes over that time span. The 2016 class faltered a bit and broke the streak of five consecutive years within top 20 recruiting classes. The good news about that is that Oregon only had 18 kids enroll, which means Oregon can enroll around 25-28 recruits next year, depending on their scholarship availability. The 2017 recruiting class can prove that last year was just a fluke and Oregon will continue to get the most athletic and fastest kids in the country.
Pro-QB Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly is the high ranked quarterback recruit Oregon has ever had commit: He is a 4-star recruit and the number three play caller in the nation. Oregon beat out his hometown college of Arizona State, UCLA, Cal, and Michigan State. He committed over twitter saying, "...I'm excited and blessed to announce I have committed to THE University of Oregon #WTD." As mentioned above, Kelly is from Arizona where he attends Basha High School. What?! Oregon has recruited, offered, and eventually won over a pro-style quarterback. Ryan Kelly is way more athletic than a typical than an A.J. McCarron pro-style type. The Basha coaches have instilled a spread type of offense where, Kelly has to make reads and they designed quarterback runs for him as well. Kelly's biggest asset is definitely his strong arm. He can whip the ball in a tight window without the chance of an interception. Something that is odd is his delivery. He has an elongated delivery which could be a problem in the Oregon offense, especially since they have a lot of quick read plays. It seems like Kelly plays baseball and it is almost a Jameis Winston motion. That is something to look at, but other than that, Kelly has all the makings to be a superstar at Oregon.
Check out Kelly's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
WDE Langi Tuifua
Langi Tuifua was the first recruit to commit to Oregon in this 2017 class. Tuifua is a 4-star recruit and he is from the state of Utah. In Utah, he is the number 4 recruit in the state and the number 15 weak-side defensive end in the country. Since he is from Utah, the usual suspects have been recruiting him: Utah, Utah State, BYU, and Boise State. But he chose Oregon over all of them during the summer of 2015. Something that jumps out right away is Tuifua's hand skills. When he can't beat a tackle with his speed, which is not too often, he finds a way to win in a hand fight. This means he either swipes his hand so the tackle can't grab onto him or he uses his own hands to push back the tackle. His strength helps him in the latter because he is able to push back the lineman and go right by him. Ideally, Tuifua needs to gain about 30-50 lbs if he wants to stay a defensive end, but he will most likely be moved to outside linebacker.
Check out Tuifua's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
Top Offered Targets
C.J. Cotman is from one of the greatest football states in the country: Florida. He currently attends Clearwater Central Catholic high school which is the same school the infamous Riley Cooper attended. Cotman is a 4-star recruit who is being courted by Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, Florida, and Miami. Oregon can never have enough running backs especially since Oregon could possibly lose five of its backs after the 2016-2017 season (Benoit, Freeman, Jones, LaCoste, Roseberry).
After missing on current Alabama commit Najee Harris, Trey Sermon would be a great consolation prize. The 4-star running back is from Georgia where he plays for Sprayberry High School. Sermon is the 9th best running back in the class of 2017, and he is the 13th best recruit in the Peach State. Oregon is competing with Ohio State, Georgia, and Auburn for his services. There is a big "Commit To The G" movement amongst the Georgia recruits, so hopefully Oregon can poach him.
Lindsey has just decided he will return home for his last football season from Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman. He will be attending Centennial High School in Corona, CA. He is a 5-star recruit and is now the best player in the state of California, the 3rd ranked receiver in the class and he is nationally the 19th ranked recruit. Lindsey is a great fit for Oregon because of his 5-9 165lbs body. He could ease into the DeAnthony Thomas role and become a star just like Thomas. Lindsey has offers from USC, Texas A&M, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.
Earlier this week Oregon went on an offering spree. Trey Blount (no relation to LeGarrette Blount) was one of the recipients of this offer happy week. Hunt is from Powder Springs, GA where he goes to school at the Pace Academy. Blount is a low 4-star recruit which gives him the 41st best ranking in his class. He is tall, standing at 6-3, and could possibly take over the Dwayne Stanford role after Stanford graduates. Blount hasn't really honed in on his top schools, but he has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Miami (FL), and now Oregon.
If the Hunter Rison's last name sounds familiar then you probably remember his father, Andre. Hunter is following his dad's footsteps, being a receiver in all. Rison has been evaluated as a 4-star recruit from Ann Arbor, MI. He had originally committed to Michigan State, but he backed off his pledge because he "...committed too early in [the] recruiting process." Although Michigan State is still on his list, Ohio State, Alabama, and Cal are there as well.
Foster Sarell is one of the top rated offensive tackles in the class (#2), but he is also one of the top recruits in the class as well. Sarell is a 5-star product Graham, WA and goes to Graham Kapowsin High School. He is also widely regarded as one of the top three recruits on the east coast, so landing him would be huge. Sarell is thought to be heavily leaning towards the University of Washington, but, along with Oregon, Stanford and USC are in the mix.
Jackson is another elite offensive lineman Oregon is heavily recruiting. Jackson is the 4th best tackle in the class and the best prospect in Arizona. He is a 5-star recruit who is nationally ranked as the 13th best recruit. Jackson is not short on offers, he has 21, Oregon's toughest opponents will be USC, Texas A&M, and ASU.
Another great offensive tackle prospect is Alijah Vera-Tucker. He isn't a 5-star like the tackles previous, but he is a highly regarded 4-star. Vera-Tucker is from Bishop O'Dowd in Oakland, CA which is where current Oregon special teamer and d-lineman T.J. Daniels attended high school. Vera-Tucker's recruiting process has just started, with most of his offers from Pac-12 schools: USC, Washington, Arizona, ASU, and Cal to name a few. Tackle seems to be one of the biggest needs because Oregon could possibly lose five offensive linemen after this coming season.
Another recipient of the offering spree was Blaise Andries. Andries is the top rated recruit in the state of Minnesota and he is also a 3-star offensive tackle. Andries plays for Marshall High School and led his team to a conference championship and to the quarter finals of the 4A playoffs. Andries was also an instrumental factor in the run game. He helped his running back score the most touchdowns in the state (22) and helped him run for over 1,000 yards. As of right now, Andries has 13 offers and the notable ones are Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
The first 3-star on the list is Casey Roddick. Roddick reigns from Ventura, CA where he is enrolled at St. Bonventure High School. He only has three offers (Oregon, Cal, and Colorado), but he is gaining interest from FSU, UCLA, and WSU. Just like the other linemen on this list, Roddick is being recruited by Scott Greatwood, the offensive line coach and the run game coordinator.
Other than Langi Tuifua, D.J. Johnson is the only other offered weak-side defensive end. Johnson is from California, more specifically Sacramento, where he is playing football for Luther Burbank High School. In the state of California, Johnson is a top 20 player while also being a top 15 recruit positional wise. The two schools that seem to be in the hunt for landing Johnson, other than Oregon, are USC and UGA.
Martin Andrus, a Los Angeles product, currently attends Los Angeles Senior High School. At first he was ranked as 5-star defensive end, but then he was demoted to a 4-star appraisal. The only Pac-12 schools who haven't offered Andrus are Colorado and Utah. Andrus has in total 12 offers, the two non-Pac-12 schools are LSU and Nebraska. With these 12 offers it seems to be only a three horse race between USC, UCLA and Oregon.
Finally, there is an Oregon bred recruit on this list. Marlon Tuipulotu is a 4-star product from Central High School which is about an hour for Eugene. Tuipulotu is essentially in Oregon's backyard and it would be a shame if Oregon wasn't able to land him. Tuipulotu has already unofficially visited Oregon during the USC thumping on Nov. 21st. It seems Oregon is the leader, but they will have to fend off Washington and USC for Tuipulotu.
The next defensive tackle is Phillip Paea from Berrien Spring, MI. There, he attends Berrien Spring High School. Oregon only recently offered Paea, February 11th, but most of his scholarship offers came in the month of February. It might be hard to pry Paea from the likes of Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio since they are both the hometown team, but who doesn't like a fight.
The soon to be St. Mary's (CA) alum is a 3-star prospect who is recently getting hot on the recruiting trail. Aumavae has received three offers (Michigan, Washington State, Colorado State) in the last ten days. He also has offers from Washington, Colorado, and Arizona, but Washington and Oregon seem to be the front runners. Aumavae is the 34th best defensive tackle and the 52nd best recruit in the state of California. His versatility is something Oregon could use since he plays both offensive tackle and defensive tackle in high school. Aumavae cold be a great addition to the Oregon line if he does decide Oregon is the best fit.
This is a miracle; Oregon is going after two Oregon bred recruits. Molden is from West Linn, Oregon and he attends West Linn Highs school. Molden is the best recruit in this great state and is marked as a 4-star recruit. Nationally, he is the 15th best corner which will make him the best corner prospect Oregon is targeting. Oregon is the heavy favorite, but Stanford is close behind and if Stanford can get him on campus, they might close in on Oregon even more. After watching this year's secondary, Oregon needs a top tier corner.
Elijah Gates is another great cornerback in which Oregon is targeting. Gates is from Buena Park, CA and attends Buena Park High School. Gates has good size, standing at 5-10, and he has the raw skills to become a good corner. He has been reviewed as a 3-star recruit and he has 8 scholarship offers. Oregon and UCLA look to be in the lead, but Notre Dame and Cal have thrown their name in the ring.
Demetrius Douglas is a local product from the Beaver State (or I should say the Duck State). Douglas attends Jesuit High School in Portland. The Ducks have three players from Jesuit High School (DL Henry Mondeaux, OL Doug Brenner, and OL Mike Miller), so Douglas already has some friends within the locker room. Douglas is a not currently ranked by 247sports, but his highlight tape shows his great one-on-one coverage skills. Oregon is one of Douglas's three offers, the others are Colorado State and Howard University.
Chaz Ah You is a great prospect out of Utah. He is 4-star recruit from Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, UT. Ah You is another defensive back target, who is ranked within the top 10 at his position. In Utah he is ranked as the second best football player, but he can move up later on in the recruiting season. Other schools who have offered Ah You are: Oklahoma, UCLA, and Stanford.
The American Samoa product is a versatile and interesting recruit for Oregon. On 247sports, Falaniko is listed as a 3-star safety, but on Scout he is listed as a 4-star outside linebacker. That type of versatility is something Oregon would greatly benefit from. If the secondary is weak one season they can put Falaniko there, or maybe the OLB corps is weak one year, he could play there. Falaniko has offers from Arizona, Hawaii, Ole Miss, and Oregon State.
Josh Falo is listed as an athlete because he can play both, tight-end and defensive end. He is the 19th ranked athlete and is also a 4-star recruit. He is from Sacramento, CA and is enrolled at Inderkum High School. Falo has offers from Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, and California. Michigan and Oregon seem to be the leaders, but it is still early on in the recruiting process.
I know this post was incredibly long. Thank you for sticking with me, I thought the community deserved some recruiting news. Because you took 15 minutes out of your day to read this, here are your rewards: