Oregon Football: 5 Recruits to Get Excited About
What do you do when you win the inaugural Pac-12 championship game and the Rose Bowl, but lose your top quarterback, running back and second- and third-best receiver?
If you are the Oregon Ducks, you sign a top-rated recruiting class, according to ESPN.
This next group of Ducks flocking to Eugene has star potential. Byron Marshall looks to be the next big running back, and Pharaoh Brown figures to be standout at tight end. As a group, they will be joining an Oregon program that is still on a high after three straight BCS games and the national championship talk that comes with it.
These freshmen are ones who Ducks fans can't wait to see.
Arik Amstead is a coveted prospect out of Pleasant Grove High School in California.
An offensive tackle, he was ranked 24th in ESPNU's Top 150.
He is another player who spurned USC (De'Anthony Thomas anyone?) to come to the Pacific Northwest and play for Chip Kelly.
Armstead played both ways in high school, but it is widely believed he will play on the defensive line for the Ducks.
He is a beast of a man, standing 6'7" and weighing 280 pounds. He uses his large frame to push around other linemen. He also has exceptional quickness off the ball. He uses his explosion to get his opponent off-balance before pushing him to the ground.
He will come to school ready to play. Armstead is just too talented to be redshirted. And since the Ducks are not overly deep on the defensive line, fans will see a lot of him next year.
Armstead has said that he also will play basketball for Oregon.
With the transfer of Tra Carson, the Ducks lose a promising running back in the LeGarrett Blount style. However, the Ducks gain Byron Marshall
The 5'10", 195-pound back out of San Jose will bring his speed and elusiveness to Eugene to try to help the Ducks forget about LaMichael James.
He is built in the same way as James, small and compact with tons of speed and good vision. He is able to change pace rapidly and has good lateral quickness.
Marshall comes from a high school offense (wing-t) that likes to get players into open space where there is room to run, just like Oregon's spread-option attack.
It is not known if he will be redshirted. He was quoted saying that he is not going to Oregon to redshirt.
If not, expect to see him as a return man and at running back. He will compete with Ayele Ford for playing time at backup running back.
Everyone who follows the Ducks know they need help at wide receiver. With Josh Huff not living up to expectations and Lavasier Tuinei graduating, the Ducks will have to turn to young talent to fill the void.
In comes Bralon Addison from Missouri City, Texas.
He played quarterback in high school but lacks some of the skills necessary to play the position in college. So he most likely will switch to wide receiver.
When he has the ball in his hands, he is dangerous. He has great speed and a good second gear once he is in the second level. Addison also can make cuts with excellent speed.
Combined with Tacoi Sumler, Addison has the potential to burn opposing defensive backs. He has also shown patience when waiting for blocks, so he could fill Tuinei's role as a bubble-screen receiver.
Since he did play quarterback in high school, look for Chip Kelly to run a few "trickier" plays with him throwing the ball.
The Ducks lost one of their all-time best tight ends in David Paulson. He made numerous big catches and was a fan favorite.
To replace Paulson, the Ducks signed Pharaoh Brown.
In his time in high school, he played tight end and defensive end. He also ran some Wildcat plays from the quarterback spot.
He is not overly fast. But in the video above, there is a play where he outruns three defensive backs on his way to a long receiving touchdown.
Brown has good hands and uses his 6'7" frame to pluck balls out of the air. His long legs let him to cover ground quickly, allowing a QB to better target him.
He has shown strength that will help him block for Oregon's running back committee and is versatile enough to play wide receiver as well.
Reggie Daniels is a hard-hitting safety.
His 6'1", 185-pound body might not scream it, but he can deliver some vicious hits.
He has good instincts as a safety that allow him to locate the ball and make a play on it. He reminds me of Patrick Chung because of his ability to get to the ball and hit the intended target hard. Daniels is able to read the quarterback and has a good burst of speed to get to the receiver.
Since starting safety Eddie Pleasant is graduating, there will be room for Daniels to get some snaps. He will not start, but will get some playing time.
His 4.63 time in the 40-yard dash and 30.1-inch vertical leap make him one of the most athletic of all the safeties. He will be a star before he's done playing for the Ducks.