Less than a month before Signing Day, Chip Kelly departed for the Philadelphia Eagles. Oregon did not panic with is jump to the NFL and quickly hired Mark Helfrich to replace Kelly. Aside from visiting recruits, Helfrich has been busy making some hires of his own. He has brought in Wide Receivers Coach Matt Lubick, who is one of the best teachers in the nation at that position. Helfrich has also brought in a new Defensive line Coach in Experienced Ron Aiken to replace the popular Steve Azzarino, who left to pursue other opportunities.
With the coaching staff mostly in tact, it was time to focus on the Class of 2013. There are several wavering still, but we’ll focus on the ones committed to playing for the Ducks in the Fall.
There are several positions of need for Oregon on Offense (Running Back, Offensive Line) and across the Defense.
The top committed recruit in this class is Thomas Tyner. The Beaverton, Oregon native and All American in his Senior season (11 games) rushed for 3,415 yards and 47 touchdowns. His average was over 310 yards per game.
I believe his talent could make him the Ducks feature back in 2013. He could take over the starting role perhaps by the start of the Pac 12 Season.
Thomas is one of the top 2-3 running backs in the Country for 2012-13. His 10.38 100 meter makes him one of the fastest men in the world and he is a legit 6’0″ plus and could be 215 this season. – PrepProfiles.com
Another Running Back commit that decided on Monday night to not play for the Ducks is Dontre Wilson(DeSoto, Texas). Wilson has made a commitment to play for Urban Meyer and Ohio State. As a runner and receiver in 2011 he rushed for 767 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 246 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Shortly after Oregon hired Lubick they had another commit from Two sport athlete Wide Receiver Devon Allen,(Phoenix, Arizona) who according to reports already had a scholarship for Track and Field at Oregon. It looks like he will also play football as he takes the scholarship from the departed Bryan Bennett who left for more playing time.
The Oregonian wrote a piece on JUCO Linebacker Joe Walker(Wilmington, California), 6 foot 3, 230 pounds. He committed to play for the Ducks in December. Walker injured his shoulder in 2010, and took a medical grayshirt the following season. According to Fentress, he is already enrolled on classes at the U of O and looks to work toward a spot left vacant by graduating seniors Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso.
Finally seems to always be looking for speed on both sides of the ball and they found JuWaan Williams(Tucker, Georgia). At 6’1, 180 pounds Willams runs the 40 yard dash in 4.65 seconds. He is listed as an Athlete as it is not known on which side of the ball he will be best utilized.
In Other Recruiting News: (Updated 02/04/12)
Rob Moseley from the Register Guard is reporting that the Ducks may now be at the front of the line for Four Star Offensive Lineman Cameron Hunt(Corona, California). Hunt was previously committed to Cal when Jeff Tedford was coach, but that is no longer the case. Hunt would be the fifth offensive lineman in this class, as the Ducks go heavy at a position where they were unable to sign a prep recruit last year.
More on recruiting as we get closer to National Signing Day on Wednesday, February 6th.
Recruiting Stories from Around the Pond:
Aaron Fentress, The Oregonian, Oregon Ducks Football Recruits Look Past Changes and Uncertainty
JT Light, Addicted to Quack, Ducks Get Super Bowl Rings, Basketball Bounceback, Signing Day Approaches
Ted Miller, ESPN, Oregon Recruiting Stays Strong
Justin Phillips is Sports Reporter for Newsradio 1120 KPNW in Eugene, Oregon