BOOM! Oregon grabs its 3rd commitment of the 2017 class. OT John Vaka of Diablo Valley College, a junior college in California, has committed to the Ducks. He will have two years remaining to play for Oregon since he will burn two years of eligibility at Diablo Valley. Oregon beat out other schools such as: Arizona, Colorado, and Washington State among others. Even though 247sports says he is unranked, Barton Simmons said, "Vaka has been given a three-star rating by 247Sports with a grade of 86".
The Diablo Valley College Vikings finished the season .500 (5-5), but the offense looked like a well oiled machine. Vaka was instrumental in the passing attack as he helped his QB rack up 3,459 yards and 33 TDs. His QB also completed 56.9% of his passes which averaged around 345 yards per game.
Vaka is a tall offensive tackle with some athleticism. He can get into the open field and set the edge during sweeps or counters, or speed options. He is a very fast lineman, unfairly fast, and he can get downfield in a hurry. That is incredibly important for Oregon's ground attack. Offensive linemen need to win their first matchup at the line and then get to the second level in a hurry. Athletically speaking, he is fluid while changing directions and nimble while getting out of his stance and protecting the passer.
Vaka is also laterally quick. He can stay in front of his man and get his hands on him as well. Something Vaka needs to work on is his footwork. He can cut down on how far the defender reaches in the backfield by just cleaning up his feet and making sure he is directly in front of the defensive end. Something else he should work on is putting on some weight. As of right now Vaka is 275lbs, which is small, ideally he would college offensive tackles are around 290lbs. He could gain more muscle, which is no problem because he has a 6-5 frame can support that weight, which would help him in all facets of his game.
Although Vaka will only be in Eugene for two years, he has the upside to become a starter on an important part of Oregon's high octane offense. His speed and athleticism are his best qualities, while size is something he could work on. Vaka is high risk high reward project Oregon is willing to take on.