4-star offensive guard recruit Alex Redmond has decommitted from the Oregon Ducks, and there is no doubting that this is a huge loss for Chip Kelly and his recruiting staff.
Redmond is 6'5'', 290 pounds and is the No. 10 guard prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, so he's obviously a talented player, but even more importantly for Oregon, he was one of just two linemen committed to their 2013 class so far—the other being 4-star offensive tackle Evan Voeller.
Here are Redmond's thoughts on his decision, via a report from Brandon P. Oliver of ESPN.com:
"I just feel like I haven't seen anywhere else really. I have the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit other schools and see what all is out there," Redmond said. "Of course I still have love for the Ducks and I'll continue to be in touch with them."
This is a devastating decommitment for Oregon, as now they have all of one offensive linemen committed for 2013.
Where do the Ducks go from here, and who should they pursue to make up for this loss? Thankfully for the Ducks, they do have a few good options.
The first recruit Kelly may really want to focus on from here on out is 4-star offensive guard prospect Reeve Koehler out of Honolulu, Hawaii. Koehler has Tennessee listed as his favorite according to 247Sports, but he does have Oregon as one of his "cool" interests, along with Cal, Hawaii and Kansas.
There may not be a better time to try to convince Koehler that Tennessee isn't the place for him. The Volunteers are struggling on the field and coach Derek Dooley's future is in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Oregon is 10-0 and is trying to position itself for a National Championship run.
The parity between the two schools is obvious, so Kelly and his staff have a great pitch to try to get Koehler to consider them over Tennessee. Plus, we know the Ducks have room for Koehler in their class.
The other recruit Oregon should turn to is 3-star offensive tackle J.D. Hinnant. Hinnant has Oregon listed as a favorite, along with Cal, Duke and Nebraska according to 247Sports, and if it came down to who had the most to offer, I dare say the Ducks could beat out those three programs for his commitment.
Finally, Oregon shouldn't give up on getting Redmond to recommit. The chances of him coming back are small, but remember, Oregon recruit Thomas Tyner decommitted from the Ducks and then soon thereafter recommitted, so it is possible. Kelly and his staff need to keep in contact with Redmond at the very least, but they would be smart to keep recruiting him as well.
Either way you look at it, Oregon needs to get on the recruiting trail and bring in a few more lineman as soon as possible, because the loss of Redmond is a pretty big one.