National Signing Day. One of three holidays I actually celebrate. Everybody has covered the biggest names and recruits out there.
Oregon and the rest of the Pac-10 have been covered, so I'm going to do something a little different.
Which, out of the 23 new players coming to Oregon, will have the biggest impact next season?
Not necessarily the best recruits—the ones who you'll actually see on the field, playing, helping the team. Here are my top three choices, in no particular order.
1. Ricky Heimuli, DT (Brighton, Utah)
He will fill a huge need at the defensive line. We have Brandon Bair for one more year, but other than that we have no one. Heimuli comes in at 6'4" 290lbs. He's a big guy that will definitely help with the pass rush.
I see him playing alongside Bair in some situations, then solo to relieve Bair. He was a force to be reckoned with in High School, and looks to carry some of that spirit onto the field for the Ducks.
Now, granted, Oregon rarely rolls with two defensive tackles. They may switch Heimuli over to play end. It's really not that far fetched. Defensive end is one spot where the Ducks are missing a starter. Heimuli may fill that void.
Heimuli was quoted as being very excited to play for the Ducks, and wants to be a leader on defense.
I see him becoming that leader in two or three years. But for right now, while he may not be starting, he will play a good amount of time, and get a good amount of tackles.
2. Curtis White, TE (Eugene, Oregon)
With Ed Dickson gone a huge question was thrown up as to who would step up at tight end. Enter Curtis White. Problem solved.
I got to witness first hand his awesome skills at a Sheldon game. Wow. He can catch like Dickson, he has the same blocking patterns...this guy will fit in wonderfully.
He may need to bulk up in the offseason, as he lacks strength, but he's still 6'5" and 245 lbs. I was greatly impressed with his hands, speed, and his leadership.
That will only grow over time. Look out for this guy next season, and remember the name Curtis White. He'll be big.
3. Lache Seastrunk, RB (Temple, Texas)
Memorize the name. As seen in this article, I think Seastrunk is a great fit at Oregon. I feel sorry for Dontae Williams, as he may never see much playing time in Lache's shadow.
He's a bit small, but very well built, and can bench with the best of them.
That's not even to mention his speed. Go to Youtube, and search 'Lache Seastrunk', and prepare to be blown away. He's so fast and elusive it's incredible. I see him sharing time with Barner and James, then starting on kickoff returns.
This is really early, but somebody write it down...(assuming he stays healthy) I think Lache will be a top five draftpick in four years. Seriously.
I used to have Dior Mathis here, but after reading all the ravings of Seastrunk, and seeing how much depth we now have in the secondary...his impact won't compare.
Unless for whatever reason he gets a redshirt, look for Seastrunk on the field.
Alejandro Maldonado (K)—Depends on if Beard or Maldonado get the start.
Dior Mathis (CB)—How much playing time will he get behind Harris and Talmadge?
Keanon Lowe (ATH)—It depends on which position he sticks with, and if he can bulk up throughout the offseason...his size is of concern.
Nick Rowland (OG)—He needs to improve his footwork, and will have a lot of competition for a starting job.
Hroniss Grasu (C)—He's a beast for sure, but is more of an investment...Jordan Holmes is a sure starter next year.