On the heels of Curtis White’s unfortunate forced retirement from football, Oregon has been actively pursuing a new tight end to fill the void. Over the last 24 hours, offers and commitments have been made by three players the Ducks have high interest in: Marcus Baugh, Mike Heuerman, and Josh McNeil.
Yesterday, Oregon started showing strong interest in Baugh according to 247sports.com. Ohio State beat them to the punch, as he committed to the school just hours later. The Buckeyes were heavily recruiting the 6-foot-4, 200-pound tight end from Riverside, California. He passes on 10 offers, including Pac-12 opponents Arizona State, California, Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington. Oregon never officially gave Baugh an offer.
Baugh noted that Urban Meyer and having family close to the Columbus area were some of the reasons that he selected the school, according to a CBS Sports blog. He is a four-star recruit on Scout.com and Rivals.com, and his also on the ESPNU 150 Watch List.
Heuerman, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from Naples, Florida, is another four star recruit from Rivals.com and Scout.com. He has received an offer from 18 schools, one of them being Oregon.
After the announcement of Baugh heading to Ohio State, a school who has also given an offer to Heuerman, he has decided to postpone his announcement. According to Rivals.com, only the date will be changed and his four schools of choice (Ohio State, LSU, Miami (FL), and Notre Dame) will remain the same. The Buckeyes are in position to grab two tremendous tight ends, and Heuerman will reportedly be at their spring game on April 21st.
All is not lost for the Ducks. Yesterday, Oregon made an offer to Josh McNeil, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound four-star prospect from Durham, North Carolina. McNeil said from his twitter account (@BIBTY_12), “Just got offered by Oregon im ah blessed young man!!!!” He also said that this was his 24th offer. However, Scout.com only lists 19 offers, and 247sports.com doesn’t include Pittsburgh or Syracuse from that list. 247sports.com also put NC State, Georgia, South Carolina and (once again) Ohio State at a higher level of interest than the rest.
McNeil has only played one year of football, but reports say that he is extremely quick off the line for his size and has very soft hands. Blocking is an area that will need plenty of help, and with that little of experience it’s expected that route-running will need improvement.