Oregon vs. Texas: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
In what will be the final game for a pair of admired coaches, Oregon and Texas will dual in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Monday.
Mack Brown will coach his last game for Texas, while this will also be the last ride for Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. The Longhorns and Ducks did not have the seasons they both wanted, but they're each going to want to end this year with a victory.
What also makes this such an intriguing contest is that both programs are enjoying solid recruiting years. Which program should be the happiest with recruiting right now?
Oregon's 2014 Recruiting Capsule
Oregon hasn't changed much since Chip Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Ducks still run an up-tempo spread offense, and their defense still doesn't get enough credit.
The Ducks have a 16-man class, in which seven states are represented. California leads the way with eight commitments, while Arizona, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Nevada and Washington have also been raided for prospects.
Head coach Mark Helfrich has eight commitments for offense, six for defense, an athlete and a long snapper.
Texas' 2014 Recruiting Capsule
Texas is obviously at a crossroads. Mack Brown will no longer be its head coach after the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Longhorns have made a living off harvesting a good portion of their recruiting classes with in-state talent under Brown, but their future approach is uncertain for obvious reasons.
However, as things stand right now, they have 22 commitments. The state of Texas leads the way with 19, while Florida and Louisiana are also represented.
The class is split into 11 defensive prospects, 10 offensive recruits and one athlete.
Oregon's Top 2014 Commitments
Among the top players in the Ducks' class is 4-star JUCO guard Haniteli Lousi. At 6'5" and 295 pounds, Lousi has the ability to come in and help right away in Eugene.
He'll help clear holes for 4-star running back Royce Freeman, a California native who runs with strength and power. Freeman's running style will be complemented by the fantastic speed and quickness of 4-star all-purpose back Tony James.
Texas' Top 2014 Commitments
A key member of the Longhorns' class is 4-star quarterback Jerrod Heard. He's the type of quarterback who may not be dominant in one area, but he's good in many of them.
The receiver position in Austin will be upgraded by a pair of 4-star prospects. Armanti Foreman will bring speed and Lorenzo Joe will bring size. Meanwhile, Donald Catalon is one of the most talented running backs in the nation. The 4-star runner has a great skill set.
Outside linebacker Otaro Alaka, safety John Bonney and defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson are 4-star recruits who lead the defensive group. However, 3-star cornerback Jermaine Roberts could emerge as the best defensive player from this class.
Courtney Garnett is a 3-star defensive tackle who has big-game experience under his belt, stemming from his days at St. Augustine in New Orleans, while Andrew Beck is an underrated 3-star linebacker from Florida.
Oregon's 2014 Headliner
Oregon's top commitment is 4-star prospect Budda Baker. While he could play defensive back in Eugene, the Washington native could be the replacement for incumbent running back De'Anthony Thomas.
At 5'9" and 174 pounds, Baker is an excellent athlete who has impressive speed and quickness. He displays fluid movement skills with the ball, and can cut at full speed with ease. Baker plays with good vision and instincts. Plus, he has deceptive strength and balance.
His style of play will blend in perfectly at Oregon.
Texas' 2014 Headliner
It's time for Derick Roberson to shine as Texas' headliner. The 4-star defensive end is a Texan who has the potential to be an All-Big 12 defender in a few seasons.
Roberson, who is nearly 6'4", weighs only 218 pounds. However, he has the quickness and strength to get under a blocker's pads before walking him into the backfield. Roberson can bend off the edge as a pass-rusher. Plus, he has a good burst to finish on the ball.
Look for him to drop into coverage on a couple of plays, as he's a solid athlete with nice range.
Oregon is on pace to bring in the best class in the Pac-12, as it has seven 4-star recruits in its 16-man group.
The Ducks should get immediate help, while also receiving the opportunity to develop several players to be used in future seasons.
However, with eight 4-star prospects in its class of 22 pledges, Texas has the better haul. The Longhorns' class has more depth. Plus, it edges the Ducks' class in quality.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
The Ducks and Longhorns both boast several commitments from the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.