Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Look at the 2008 Recruits

I know this is a bit late but the following is some info I typed up back in February regarding the 2008 Oregon Ducks recruitment class (I updated it for this recent post). In addition, here is a good article by John Hunt at the Oregonian and one from Bleacherreport.com regarding the Ducks 2008 recruiting class.

First, a bit of the bad news from February 6th...

Unfortunately the Ducks lost two 4* WRs to their respective home states. Tommy Streeter from Miami (Scout profile) signed with Miami because his dad wouldn't sign a LOI to go to Oregon and Aaron Boyd from Kentucky (Scout profile) signed with Kentucky because his mother wouldn't sign a LOI to go to Oregon. Both recruits favored Oregon but the parental involvement (In regards to distance) was enough to make sure they stayed close to home.

The Ducks also lost DE Jamaar Jarrett on signing day in a sneaky attack by... You guessed it... Dennis Erickson @ ASU. Oregon was expecting to see a signed letter that day and instead found that Jamaar had sent one to ASU. The rumors went so far as to say that Dennis used Jamaar's sisters to convince him he wanted to go to ASU instead of Oregon. I wouldn't put it past him or Slick Rick. To make it fair, Ducks did do the same thing to Erickson (Tim Day) a few years ago.

Then the good news... Welcome, the Oregon Ducks class of 2008...

  • Zach Taylor - 3* LS (Texas)- Yeah, I know, big whoop, a long snapper. First, apparently the Ducks didn't burn a scholarship on him since UofOs current long snapper left a year early. Second, Taylor is said to be the #1 long snapper in 2008.
  • Dewitt Stuckey - 4* WLB (California) - ESPN Evaluation. NorCal Defensive Player of the Year. In May, Stuckey was initially arrested for his possible role in a fight but was later released and all felony charges were dropped. Ted Miller at ESPN's Pac 10 Blog thinks Stuckey has a good chance to make an impact during the 2008 season. Here is an AOL video of Stuckey.
  • Kiko Alonso - 3* MLB (California) - ESPN Evaluation. NorCal 1st team Defense
  • Nick Cody - 3* OT (Washington) - ESPN Evaluation. Had offers from just about every Pac-10 school (I think with the exception of USC). #21 Northwest top 100. Apparently Nick has been a recruiting stud and has been helping familiarize many of the incoming players.
  • Blake Ferras - 3* DT (California for JC) - 6'5", 285lbs with a 4.8 40yd. Played on the same team as incoming QB Jeremiah Masoli (see my last blog) and won the JC National Championship last year. Blake sat out most of Spring practices due to a sprained ankle but according the Portland Tribune article on Dion Jordan (see below) he says 'I’m a nice guy off the field, but a bad ass on it. Not dirty, just aggressive.' in response to a question on toughness.
  • Kenjon Barner - 3* CB (California). ESPN Evaluation. Haven't heard much about him except from his evaluation but he looks impressive in his YouTube video.
  • John Boyett - 4* S (California) - ESPN Evaluation. All-NorCal Player of the Year. EA Sports Second Team All American Defense. This guy only came off the field (in HS) during kickoffs! He was enrolled at Oregon for Winter Term 2008. YouTube video.
  • Garrett Embry - 3* WR (Georgia) - 6'-1" and 210lbs. ESPN Evaluation. YouTube video.
  • Blake Cantu - 3* WR (Texas) - ESPN Evaluation. Played in the UnderArmour All-American game. 1st team All-State 5A. Here is one high school highlight.
  • Scott Grady - 3* CB (Tigard, OR) - ESPN Evaluation. Looks like he played WR and Kick Returner also. #34 Northwest top 100. Check out this YouTube video.
  • Mychal Rivera - 3* TE (California) - ESPN Evaluation. Mychal was the Ducks first 2008 commit and he stuck to his word.
  • Josh Kaddu - 3* SLB (California) - 6'-3" and 210 lbs. Offers from Arizona, ASU, Fresno St & Washington.
  • LaMichael James - 3* RB (Texas)- 4.4 40yd. ESPN Evaluation. Had offers from Nebraska & Minnesota, among others. Check out this YouTube video.
  • Dion Jordan - 4* TE (Arizona) - ESPN Evaluation. Offers from Arizona, ASU, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, OSU & Cal. Dion missed much of his senior year due to burns from an accident in October. There are similarities between Dion and Jaison Williams and I'm guessing the coaching staff will look to using him more as a WR than a TE. Here a recent article from the Portland Tribune on Dion.
  • Darron Thomas - 4* QB (Texas) - ESPN Evaluation. Offers from Florida, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma St, Illinois, etc. Was actually committed to LSU but decommitted to become a Duck. Was on campus for Winter Term '08. Is said to have many similar qualities to Dennis Dixon.
  • LaGarrett Blount - 4* JC RB (Originally from Florida, Miss. for JC) - This guy is 230 lbs with 4.5 40 speed. Had offers from Florida St, Miss, West Virginia, Etc. Was committed to Florida State before signing with the Ducks and signed with Auburn in 2005 before attending East Mississippi CC. Was considered the #1 JC RB this year. Expect him to fill J. Stew's shoes the next two years (or one if he has a huge breakout year) as many have compared him to Duck Alumnus Reuben Droughns. Was on campus for Spring Term '08 and would arguably be considered the star of the spring game by rushing 5 times for 68 yards. Espn wrote this article about Blount. Here is a Spring video from KVAL.
  • Chris Harper - 4* QB (Kansas) - 6'2", 220 lbs & 4.45 40yd. ESPN Evaluation. Offers from Cal, Illinois, Kansas, KSU, Missouri, Notre Dame & a late push (after he committed to the Ducks) from Michigan. One of ESPNs top 150. Forget the Kansas State title (he committed to Kansas State before some coaching changes) in the video, He's a Duck - YouTube Video. Was on campus for Spring Term '08 and impressed those who watched him in the spring game. It wouldn't surprise me if he winds up as 3rd string QB going into the Ducks first game of the season.
  • Justin Thompson - 5* JC DT (Cal for JC) - 6'5" and 290lbs. Offers from Cal, LSU, Miami, Ohio St, Tennessee, Nebraska & Oklahoma. Was committed to Miami at one point. This came down to Oregon and LSU. Still hasn't arrived but our chances are looking good (better than former teammate Simi Kuli to OSU). As both starting DTs are gone from last year’s team, expect Justin to make an immediate impact.
  • Ellis Krout - 2* JC WR (originally from Texas). Ellis apparently visited Oregon just days before signing day and signed just days later on February 6th. From what I've heard of Krout will likely see the field this fall.
  • Hamani Stevens - 3* C (California) - ESPN Evaluation. Some considered Hamani to be the #1 Center in this year's recruiting class. Originally committed to UCLA in the summer of 07. Once the new coaching staff arrived in LA, Slick Rick made a strong comeback for him, but in the end, Oregon came though. He was heavily recruited by UCLA, BYU, ASU, & Colorado (among others). The Ducks are hoping Hamani can take the reins in a year or two under Center.

This season the Ducks were also in the top 3 for the nations #1 player (and #1 qb) Terrelle Pryor who didn't sign (Ohio State) until March. Bellotti and staff also picked up Jeremiah Masoli in May (see my blog on Duck transfers).

Ducks were rated 19th on Rivals.com and 24th on Scout.com. That is with only 20 recruits. For comparison sake, on Rivals, ASU was 21st and they had 28 recruits.

Side Note: R.I.P. Todd Doxey. Thank you and God Bless.

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