Oregon Football Recruiting: Grading the Ducks' 2013 Class
Well, that was fun. What a day for Oregon football recruiting. There were happy Ducks everywhere once Oregon's 2013 recruiting class was announced.
New Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich (when should we stop calling him "new"? How about after today?) took the Chip Kelly blueprint, and completed the drawings.
Kelly gone to the NFL.
Here's how it all looks at the end of the day by position.
Quick—name two Oregon quarterbacks from Texas whose first names start with "D."
You know the old one, but you might not know the new one, Damion Hobbs from Cedar Hill, Texas. Hobbs is a 3-star dual-threat quarterback and measures in at 6'2", 190 pounds. He signed his national letter of intent with the Ducks Wednesday (per The Dallas Morning News' David Just).
Hobbs looks promising. He led his team to the state championship game in the Texas 5A division. In his press conference today, Helfrich said about Hobbs:
He can really throw it, really run it and he's a great student.
Oregon fans thought the Ducks might try to sign two QBs in this class, but it didn't work out that way—at least, not as of today.
Quarterback Grade: C+
This one is easy.
You all know 5-star Thomas Tyner out of Aloha High School by now. He is the total package at running back. Tyner has world-class speed, he's physical and all indications are that he is a good kid ready to compete.
Coming in under the radar is RB Kani Benoit out of Phoenix, Arizona (Thunderbird High School). Benoit is 6'0", 200 pounds, but beyond his measurements, we don't know much about him. In his press conference Wednesday, Helfrich said that the Ducks had kept their eye on Benoit throughout the recruiting process.
Losing Dontre Wilson to Ohio State was a blow, but it's hard not to give a grade of excellent to a program that just signed the running back of the future.
Running Back Grade: A
Wide Receiver/Tight End
The Ducks are already loaded at wide receiver and tight end, and after Wednesday, it's almost obscene.
Allen is a versatile athlete and according to Helfrich: "He will help Track Town USA as well."
Carrington was a good save, as he reopened his recruiting after Chip Kelly's departure. An interesting factoid about Carrington is that his father played in the NFL for eight years, mostly for the San Diego Chargers.
According to Scout.com, Mundt is the No. 13 tight end prospect in the nation and one of the top three on the West Coast.
Most programs would be happy with any one of these three recruits. Landing all three—priceless.
WR/TE Grade: A
Again, an embarrassment of riches.
We'll take an in-depth look at all five of these OL recruits soon.
It would have been a good OL class even without Cameron Hunt, but his last-minute flip from the California Golden Bears pushed it into the A category.
OL Grade: A
Tuesday, the defensive line prospect status was looking grim.
But Wednesday's surprise signing by 4-star Torrodney Prevot, a flip from the USC Trojans, really gave this area a much-needed boost. It's about quality, not quantity, for Oregon in this position.
Prevot's versatility will be helpful to defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. Ducks fans should expect Prevot to compete for the two-deep chart once the season gets underway.
DL Grade: B
Linebacker was an area where the Ducks had a lot of need. The 2013 class will go a long way toward filling that need.
JUCO transfer Joe Walker and 4-star Danny Mattingly could both compete for playing time in 2013.
And, while listed as "ATH" on Oregon's signing list, 4-star Tyrell Robinson may also choose linebacker.
LB Grade: B+
Defensive backfield is a somewhat difficult to grade because some of the recruits listed as "ATH" may end up at DB.
Juwaan Williams and Tyrell Robinson may also contribute at DB.
DB Grade: B-
Why is this man smiling?
Because he just aced his first national signing day as a head coach of an elite college football program.
Mark Helfrich and his merry band of road-tripping assistants deserve a big, fat "A" for pulling off this recruiting class under the circumstances.
From landing a kicker who can get the job done (Matt Wogan) to continuing Oregon's excellence at running back (Thomas Tyner and Kani Benoit), Helfrich has held onto and contributed to a very good 2013 class.
Could it have been better? Sure.
But it could have been a whole lot worse, Ducks fans.
Overall Grade: B+
Kay Jennings is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.