The Oregon Ducks always seem to find a top prospect who is an unknown to everyone else but has a high amount of talent and just blows you away on tape. The most recent underrated recruit spotted by the Ducks is 2013 defensive tackle Daniel Etuale, and 247Sports is reporting that he will commit to Oregon if Ducks offer him.
There is almost nothing out there on Etuale, except for the above article from 247 and one highlight tape that can be watched here. Although he plays at tight end for his team in Samoa, the extremely strong, 6’5″, 285 pound recruit is being recruited by the Ducks as a defensive tackle.
The very first play on that highlight reel took my breath away- he just flat-out trucked No. 44. In addition to his insane strength, Etuale is also surprisingly quick and has very good athleticism overall. He is far too quick for linebackers to cover and outmuscles safeties with ease. Granted, the competition he is facing isn’t stiff, but his strength and overall talent is undeniable.
Etuale’s official visit to Oregon went extremely well, and we’ll see if the Ducks grant his wish and decide to offer him as this year’s underrated prospect (2012′s was Cody Carriger). I hope they do, because you can definitely see Etuale’s upside on tape just by watching some of the plays he makes as a tight end.
As a defensive tackle, he would likely have great leverage at the line of scrimmage and has enough quickness to make him an adequate penetrating pass rusher on the inside. His strength makes him a tough player to account for when running the football, because he has enough size to command a double team and can disrupt running lanes and the running back in the backfield with his strength. Daniel Etuale has a lot of technique issues that will need to be addressed, but he has a high amount of upside and is one for the future. He looks downright monstrous on tape with his strength, and I can’t shake off how he trucked that guy on the very first clip on that video.
This is what you call “under the radar”. Etuale’s athleticism combined with his size and strength makes him a dangerous prospect once he gets things down at DT. No matter where he goes, he’s going to be redshirted. Hopefully, Etuale goes to the Oregon Ducks- it seems like a near certainty that he will.
Every recruit out of high school is raw to a certain degree, and what the Ducks need is a defensive tackle who has the ability to develop into an elite player who can make big-plays in the opponent’s backfield. DT is probably the biggest need for Oregon in the 2013 class, so offering him and redshirting him in 2013 makes perfect sense to me.
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