Now that all of the confetti has been swept off the field after Oregon’s 35-17 victory over Kansas State in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, and Chip Kelly has announced he will return to coach the Ducks, Kelly and his staff can get back on the recruiting trail.
The month between the end of the season and national signing day is one of the most critical periods for recruiting, and Oregon will want to do its best to sign the guys it feels are right for its program.
Kelly has already done a masterful job securing solid commitments from offensive weapons such as Thomas Tyner and Dontre Wilson, but there is still room for improvement for the Ducks.
Oregon’s full list of commitments can be seen here.
Here are 10 recruits that Oregon would love to sign to a NLOI.
List is in no particular order.
6'1", 195 lbs.
Henderson is a wide receiver and safety hailing from Grant High School in Sacramento, CA, a powerhouse for defensive players.
According to scout.com, Henderson currently only has three offers from schools, but has been solid the past two seasons on both sides of the ball.
Scout.com listed Henderson as one of its under-the-radar prospects before the 2012 season, and he could be a great steal for the Ducks.
Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal has been in charge of Henderson’s recruitment by the Ducks, according to ESPN, and Henderson would be a great fit for Oregon’s system.
With nice speed and hands and a certain prowess in the secondary, Henderson could contribute on both sides of the ball.
Henderson already impressed the coaching staff at a camp put on by the school, being named to the All-Oregon NFTC.
6'4", 270 lbs.
Hunt will add more depth to an Oregon offensive line that fits Hunt’s skill set.
This will set Oregon up perfectly to flip Hunt from blue and yellow to green and yellow.
Hunt would bring an aggressive and quick-footed lineman to the Ducks, which would be the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s spread offense.
6'3", 219 lbs.
James is an absolute perfect fit for the hybrid-LB position in Nick Allioti’s defense.
Due to his smaller size, James will not end up lining up in a three-point stance on the defensive line. Instead he plays much better as a stand-up pass-rusher.
James brings a nice, quick burst off the line much as former Ducks Kenny Rowe and Dion Jordan did in the hybrid-LB position.
Oregon will have the perfect chance to flip James to committing to the Ducks when he visits Eugene on January 11.
6’4", 195 lbs.
Don’t let the 195 lbs. fool you; Cunningham can play.
A late-bloomer, Cunningham didn’t have the fortune of holding multiple offers early on in his high school career, leading him to play with a chip on his shoulder.
A sideline-to-sideline player, Cunningham brings ferocity to ever play, something which will impress the Oregon coaching staff.
Cunningham has narrowed his decision to four schools, according to scout.com: Auburn, Oregon, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He will make an official visit to Auburn on January 11 and then to Oregon a week later.
6’6", 215 lbs.
McEvoy may be listed as a quarterback, but his future is in catching the football, not throwing it.
At 6’6", McEvoy has great size and is an incredible athlete, something that fits Oregon’s program.
With Rahsaan Vaughn graduating, Oregon will only have one wide receiver taller than 6’2", making McEvoy a huge boost for the Ducks.
Another bonus of signing McEvoy to an NLOI would be insurance in case Bryan Bennett transfers to another school; Oregon, after all, would be without an upperclassman at quarterback in that situation.
6’3", 230 lbs.
Jack is a long shot for Oregon to flip, but a last-minute trip to Eugene could end up working in the Ducks’ favor.
Playing as both a running back and a hybrid-LB, Jack is incredibly versatile, and he could be an elite rush linebacker for the Ducks or a power running back.
As I said, flipping Jack’s commitment isn’t going to be easy, but it would be extremely beneficial to the Ducks.
6’0", 185 lbs.
Speed, speed and even more speed is a perfect description for Allen.
Despite only having a walk-on offer from the Ducks, Allen is still interested in Oregon for the school’s elite track and field program, according to Matt Prehm of The Register-Guard.
Allen won two state titles and was a runner-up for a third at the Arizona State Track and Field Championships.
It’s no secret that Oregon loves its players to have speed, and Allen would only better that.
6’5", 275 lbs.
Oser has already shown an ability to snap the ball to a quarterback in shotgun, something that Oregon does pretty much every play.
If the Ducks can secure a commitment from Oser, they will be getting an athletic and physical lineman, something any program with national title aspirations could use.
6’3", 290 lbs.
Oregon’s chance of flipping Dillard, a strong and physical guard, from the Florida Gators, is like a heat wave hitting Eugene—it just probably won’t happen.
Just like Jim Carrey said in Dumb and Dumber, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
6’4", 245 lbs.
I had the great fortune of watching Hooper play against the state of California’s best offense in the Nor-Cal Title Game.
Hooper demolished them.
With great size to play on the defensive line or at outside linebacker, Hooper does a great job at using leverage to make plays in the backfield.
Hooper does a great job of using his hands not only at defensive end, but also at tight end, a position he could play for Oregon with ease.
I can say with complete honesty that not signing Hooper will be a great loss for the Ducks.