Column: Quack Class of 2017

Class of 2017 Recruitng Overview// @GoDucksTroll

Recruiting credentials: Recruitnik since the days that you had to pay Don James’ son-in-law to know which teenage boys you will be cheering for in the immediate future. Remembers seeing a grainy tape of an Oregon commit that people were calling Super Manziel and thinking he’s going to do great things in Eugene. Watches high school highlight tapes the way other people watch Games of Thrones or whatever it is normal people watch. Calls online videos “tapes.” 
Class of 2017 Recruiting Overview
Number of commitments: 12
Expected size of recruiting class: 22-24
National rank: 31
Four year recruiting average rank: 21
Note: Recruits overall national ranking in parentheses, using the 247Sports Composite (http://247sports.com/Season/2017-Football/CompositeRecruitRankings?InstitutionGroup=HighSchool). The 247 composite is a mysterious formula that combines rankings from 247 and their competitors Scout, Rivals, and ESPN in an attempt to achieve a consensus recruiting rank. 
For the casual fan who glances at the recruiting rankings seeing Oregon at number 31 is bound to be a shock, as Duck fans have become accustomed to seeing top 20 classes. They need to relax, as recruiting rankings take into account class size instead of average rankings and no class ranked ahead of Oregon’s has fewer commits than Oregon’s 12. When calculated by the average recruiting ranking of current commits Oregon ranks 18th. The staff is putting together a fine class and has plenty of room for some elite prospects they are in the running for. At the moment the future crop of Ducks consists of:

  • Deommodore Lenoir (91st ranked recruit nationally) Cornerback. Los Angeles. Oregon’s highest rated commit is expected to play cornerback at the next level. He’s an exciting playmaker with the ball in his hands as well. Lenoir has been dominant against elite competition and is the gem of Oregon’s recruiting class thus far. He has also been active on social media, attempting to bring some SoCal talent up with him to Eugene.  
  • Jaylon Redd (#210) Cornerback. Los Angeles. The newest member of the class is a dynamic two way player who can play either cornerback or wide receiver at Oregon. A good friend of fellow future Duck Deommodore Lenoir, Redd’s commitment shows that the Ducks still have pull in Southern California. Re-stocking the defensive backfield was a priority in this recruiting class, and Jaylon Redd is a great pick-up that should have Duck fans excited. 
  • Langi Tuifua (#244) Defensive End.  South Jordan, Utah. The pass rusher out of Utah was the Ducks first pledge in the 2017 class, and has been open about considering other colleges and taking visits to local schools BYU and Utah, where he was committed before flipping to Oregon. Tuifua is a dynamic pass rusher who gets monstrous sack numbers. He has benefited from playing alongside elite recruit Jay Tufele, who is apparently not interested in Oregon after they were slow offering him a scholarship. 
  • Rutger Reitmaier (#360) Defensive Tackle. Nashville, Tennessee. Reitmaier continues Oregon’s streak of getting an elite recruit out of the Volunteer State, joining 2016’s Dillon Mitchell and 2015’s Ugo Amadi. Reitmaier is a US Army All-American who dominates local competition with a bullish and physical style. 
  • Sampson Niu (#404) Middle Linebacker. San Diego. After going through a recruiting drought at linebacker the Ducks gorged themselves in 2016, and re-stocking the talent continues with Sampson Niu, a headhunting inside linebacker who stands out against the run. Niu is a spry and undersized linebacker who might have a chance to play as a true freshman in 2017. 
  • Alex Forsyth (#423) Offensive Line. West Linn, Oregon. Remember the brouhaha with Oregon not signing a single in-state player a few years ago? Local sports columnist jumped on this perceived snub of local talent. That’s not an issue going forward as Oregon high school football is stocked with talent for the immediate future, and Alex Forsyth is the best o-lineman the state has to offer in 2017. He has the size (6’5” 300lbs) and his highlight tape consists of him treating suburban Portland kids like ragdolls while playing on what is arguably the state’s best team.
  • Tre’ McKitty (#455) Tight End. Bradenton, Florida. In addition to being the owner of a fantastic name Mr. McKitty plays for one of the most talented teams in high school football, IMG Academy. IMG is a sports academy that claims 9 recent NFL first round draft picks and is stocked with division I talent. Tre’ McKitty chose Oregon over offers from recruiting powerhouses like Miami, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and USC. With Oregon losing its top three tight ends after this season McKitty has a chance to compete for playing time from his first day on campus.
  • Moses Robinson-Carr (#550) Tight End. Lancaster, CA. We’re assembling the best named corps of tight ends in the county. Robinson-Carr is a great athlete who can block, catch and may even wind up playing defensive end. The TE depth chart is thin, with Jacob Breeland and Cam McCormick the only two on the roster for 2017 so I would expect him to stay at TE. 
  • CJ Verdell (#625) Running back. San Diego. CJ Verdell was a surprise to some, as Oregon accepting a running back ranked this low is not a common sight. Duck fans have become accustomed to seeing elite recruits at this position as the past six years have brought a bounty of 4 star or higher recruits Thomas Tyner, De’Anthony Thomas, Royce Freeman, Byron Marshall, Tony Brooks-James, Taj Griffin and a certain five star recruit who shan’t be mentioned who’s name rhymes with Bake Beekrunk. CJ Verdell looks terrific on tape, although it should be noted that recruits who will be likely be playing in the Big Sky conference also look like Tecmo Bowl Bo Jacksons in their games against kids that will mostly never play a down of football after high school. Having said that, I’m excited they got this kid. Verdell is a stout 5’9” 200lb and runs with the physicality of a much bigger back. With Freeman likely off to the NFL after this year expect the Ducks to take two running backs this class, Verdell is a great one to already have on board since he’s an every down workhorse type of back. 
  • John Vaka (#46, Junior College) Offensive Line.  Diablo Valley JC, California. I haven’t watched Vaka’s film yet, but I’ll go with the cliché line of “trust the coaches,” since Steve Greatwood is a master of his craft who has forgotten much more football than I will ever know and if he wants this guy in green, classic yellow and orange then I want him as well. 
  • Demetrius Douglas (#951) Cornerback. Portland. Oregon kids are hard to evaluate compared to Southern California recruits. Douglas, out of Portland powerhouse Jesuit, looks like a Pac-12 corner. The son of former Minnesota star Omar Douglas also boasts offers from the likes of Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. 
  • Adam Stack (#12 overall kicker) Kicker. Honolulu. We all remember Alejandro Maldonado and don’t want to go through that again, so bringing in an elite kicking recruit every few years is a must. Adam Stack happens to be an elite kicking recruit. 

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