The Oregon Ducks boast one of the fastest, high-octane offenses in all of college football. Well, that offense just got a speed upgrade in the wake of national signing day. The Ducks were able to put together a nice recruiting class with one 5-star addition and multiple 4-star additions—many of which reside on the offensive side of the ball.
The 2013-14 season didn't end with a national championship for the Ducks, however, they did produce a good amount of success. Oregon finished the season with an 11-2 record which culminated in a 30-7 blowout of Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Last season, the Ducks were ranked 21st in passing yards, ninth in rushing yards and fourth in points scored. This draft class is sure to bolster those already impressive statistics. Let's take a closer look at the offensive playmakers that the Ducks acquired on national signing day.
Oregon Ducks' 2014 Complete Recruiting Class
|Oregon Ducks' 2014 Recruiting Class|
Royce Freeman, RB
Freeman is certainly the gem of the Ducks' 2014 recruiting class. The 5'11", 215-pound running back was deemed a 5-star recruit and given a 99-overall rating from 247Sports. Rightfully so, as Freeman possesses a perfect balance of size, strength and speed.
With a thick, muscular build and the ability to run a 4.58 40-yard dash, Freeman will become a welcomed addition to Oregon's backfield in the near future. Freeman's looks are deceiving, as he has the build of a power back, but the explosiveness and agility of a smaller back.
His great vision, quick footwork and ability to get to the second level quickly makes him a perfect fit for the Ducks fast-paced offense.
Here's a look at Freeman in action:
Jalen Brown, WR
Brown is one of the most polished receivers entering the college ranks. At 6'2" and 187 pounds, he is a large, quarterback-friendly target. Brown has great control of his body and has the ability to adjust nicely to off-target passes.
A smooth route-runner and quick off the line, Brown has a knack for always being at the right place at the right time. Combine that with his sure hands and you get a wide receiver that is capable of producing mind-blowing numbers.
Brown is not afraid to go over the middle and make contested catches in traffic. He is a great example of a do-it-all receiver, as he can stretch the field and haul in shorter possession-type receptions.
According to Erik McKinney of ESPN.com, the Ducks were very fortunate to land the highly sought-after receiver:
Brown, the No. 1 wide receiver in Arizona and the No. 7 overall player in the state, is a big addition for the Ducks, as he was a target for a number of programs, including Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington and Wisconsin. Brown took official visits to see the Badgers, Beavers, Commodores and Ducks before announcing his decision.
This video really encompasses Brown's skill set:
Morgan Mahalak, QB
Mahalak is one of the most promising dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He may not be completely polished, but has a great amount of upside. Mahalak has great size for a quarterback at 6'3" and 190 pounds. His combination of size and quickness—he runs a 4.98 40-yard dash—makes him a force on the field.
Due to his abilities as a rusher, Mahalak will need to put on some weight while in college, however, he has shown a good amount of toughness over his high school career.
As a passer, he has solid fundamentals and a very nice throwing motion. He transfers his body weight nicely and rarely throws off his back foot. Mahalak also has very quick feet in the pocket, giving him the ability to escape a pass rush.
Mahalak spoke briefly to Justin Hopkins of 247Sports about comparisons between him and current starting quarterback Marcus Mariota:
Yeah they have talked about that before and compared us in that sense. I know they love how much our character is similar. I know that's something Oregon has mentioned a few times is how much they love my character in addition to my football ability.
Here's a closer look at a beautiful throw by Mahalak during the Under Armour All-America Game:
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise stated.
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