Oregon has dipped its hands into the Midwest to land perhaps its biggest recruit of the 2015 recruiting cycle: 4-star wide receiver Alex Ofodile, who committed to the Ducks on Tuesday after taking an unofficial visit to Eugene last Friday.
Rob Cassidy of Rivals.com confirmed the initial reports:
Rivals250 WR Alex Ofodile confirms TV report that he has committed to Oregon. @DucksSportsAuthority— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) June 24, 2014
Ofodile is a huge get for the Ducks, who have well-documented wide receiver problems in 2014 and could always use more depth in the future. He is the No. 73 overall player and No. 8 wide receiver on the 247Sports Composite; no other top-30 wide receiver has committed to a Pac-12 school.
Although he doesn't fit the archetype of a modern Oregon wide receiver (short, fast, scheme-specific), Ofodile has the physical tools to become a featured weapon in Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost's offense. He checks in at 6'3", 185 pounds, which is rare size on the outside for this scheme, but he also runs an alleged 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.
The Oregon offense is all about scoring quickly and creating long gains. On that front, here is how ESPN Scouts Inc. (subscription required) described Ofodile's big-play ability:
Shows very good short-area quickness to get into open space and get over the top. He is a guy who once is in the open field with a straight line he possesses the ability to build speed and pull away from people. Shows acceleration properties that you don't often see and bigger wide receivers. His combination of size, speed and ability to get away from press coverage makes him a consistent vertical threat. Can play on the inside and outside. Makes a lot of plays from the slot position in a crowd. Will extend in traffic and know he's going to get hit. He's got great toughness. Has a very sound football player that is reliable and at the same time produces a lot of big plays downfield. Is much better after the catch than you might think. Is quick to accelerate, can make the first defender miss and stretch down the sideline.
That is almost a verbatim description of what a receiver must do in this offense. He can play from the outside or the slot, he can get away from press coverage, he can make the first defenders miss and go.
The fact that he stands 6'3" is almost icing on the cake.
Oregon landed another tall receiver this past cycle in 4-star recruit Jalen Brown. Brown stands 6'2" and has a similarly lanky frame to that of Ofodile, but he does not have the same vertical speed. He is more of a possession receiver—a blocker and a red-zone threat.
On top of that, the Ducks have a pair of redshirt freshmen—6'0" track star Devon Allen and 6'2" Darren Carrington—who possess good size and blistering downfield speed. They will both be around until at least 2015 (and likely longer), and B.J. Kelley is another track star who will be a junior in 2014 and should stick around for his final season.
That is the trio Ofodile will compete with for playing time in 2015, while Brown, Dwayne Stanford and Chance Allen compete in a possession-type role. Any way you swing it, Ofodile is coming to a good spot with an opportunity for early playing time but not an expectation for immediate development. This team could use another instant-impact receiver by the 2015 season, but it probably will not need one.
Even though it was surprising—based on his recruitment and the three Midwestern powers (Missouri, Notre Dame and Oklahoma) so hot on his trail—it is not hard to figure why Ofodile wanted to leave home and head for the Pacific Northwest.
What receiver doesn't want to play at Oregon?
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT