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Oregon Football Recruiting

Torres' Take: Big Week in Oregon Football Recruiting

January 29, 2020
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We’re one week away from National Signing Day. Yeah that’s right, again. The Ducks are making a final push to put the finishing touches what they hope will be a top 10 recruiting class before turning their attention to the future. 

We’ve got team updates and recruiting developments, so sit back and have a read.  

 

Victory Vaka 

One of the Ducks’ top 2021 targets along the defensive front has set a commitment date. The 4-star defensive tackle will announce his college decision on June 28. He is working from a top five of LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Texas A&M and Utah. 

The only other visit that we know of at this point is to the Ducks during his spring break. I’ll bet the coaches try to stop by and see him in Southern California before then. 

The Ducks still hope to land DT Jayson Jones to cap off the 2020 class, but it’s always great to have some 4-star depth.  

 

Justin Herbert’s Senior Bowl 

The hometown hero and golden boy of the Oregon football program was in Mobile (Ala.) this past week for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he showcased his talents against some of the nation’s best. 

Six quarterbacks split time during the game, but Herbert still turned in a solid stat line of 9 for 12 passing, 83 yards, and 1 touchdown against no interceptions. He also tacked on 22 yards rushing on three carries. 

The highlight of his day was a 16-yard touchdown pass to Florida’s Lamical Perine on the opening drive, a sequence that saw him really get into a rhythm. Herbert completed his first seven passes and scrambled for a 19-yard gain. 

Herbert's South team ended up losing 34-17, but he clearly helped his draft stock with his performance all week. Many mock drafts have him going in the first round, but he could be creeping into top 10 territory, with teams in desperate need of a quarterback all positioned in the top ten: Cincinnati (1), Miami (5) and Los Angeles (6).  

 

 

Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe  

The two highest-rated commits in Oregon’s 2020 class, the inside linebacker duo saw some movement as rankings services made their final updates. 

On Rivals, both Flowe and Sewell ended their high school careers ranked inside the overall top 10. Flowe came in at No. 8, falling four spots, and Sewell rounded out the top 10 after rising six spots. 

Sewell is already enrolled, and I’m sure Oregon fans and coaches wish that Flowe was on campus, too. But high school only comes around once, and I can’t blame the guy for sticking around to enjoy it. 

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Flowe grasps the playbook and if Sewell’s early enrollment might give him an advantage to start on this loaded defense next season.  

 

Dont’e Thornton 

I recently spoke with the 2021 player who could be the Ducks’ biggest want at the wide receiver position. 

It’s early in the process, but Thornton is really feeling the Ducks. As evidence, he backed off his Penn State commitment after his last visit. Penn State hasn’t slowed down, however, as he told me the Nittany Lions are recruiting him even harder now that he’s back on the market. 

The fact that Thornton is going to be back for the Spring Game has got to put the Oregon staff at ease a bit. Thornton he is the type of BIG name you want on your visitor list. 

Recently hired offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was in Baltimore last week to check in on the high 4-star, and Thornton had high praise for him. He’s confident in what he can do for the Oregon offense, which still has a lot of youth at the skill positions. 

Aside from Oregon and Penn State, the 247Sports Composite’s No. 4 wideout is considering LSU, Notre Dame and West Virginia. He’s long maintained that Oregon is his dream school, so we’ll just have to see if he wants to make that dream a reality.  

 

Michael Jackson III 

The Ducks hosted the 3-star wide receiver from Las Vegas (Nevada) on an unofficial visit this past weekend. When he coaching staff offered him a scholarship, Oregon became one of many schools to hop on the hype train. 

The fast-rising 6-foot, 195-pound wideout has seen schools such as Penn State, West Virginia and Wisconsin toss their hats into the ring lately. Jackson really loved his Oregon visit, and I’d almost go as far as to say the Ducks lead here. 

Jackson said he plans to return to Oregon in the fall for a game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him back on campus for the Spring Game or in the summer for Saturday Night Live. Jackson also noted his connection with grad assistant Jonathan Krause, who is emerging as one of the stronger recruiters on the staff.  

Some people on these boards see a 3-star ranking immediately write a kid off. Keep in mind: He’s still a junior and has a lot of time to improve.  

 

Korey Foreman  

I’m not gonna lie -- I’m a little sad to include this news in here. But I have to keep everyone up to date. 

The Ducks looked like they were really in it, potentially even the favorite to land the nation’s top player for 2021. Well, Foreman committed to Clemson on Friday -- and it was a little bit unexpected, in my opinion. I spoke to him as he got off the plane in South Carolina, and the news broke later that weekend. 

However, it’s important to remember the 5-star defensive end is only a junior and almost a year away from his earliest chance to sign a national letter of intent. It’s far from over. I’d be shocked if he didn’t end up at least visiting Oregon before then. 

Foreman told me he plans to come up from Southern California during the summer, and making that happen should be the staff’s main priority at this point. He might’ve committed just to get out of the spotlight a little bit, but this staff won’t stop until he refuses to talk to them. 

So far, that certainly doesn’t look to be the case. 

 

Jayson Jones 

As I noted earlier, the Ducks hosted the 2020 4-star Alabama defensive tackle commit over the weekend. He came with his parents, and by all accounts it went really well. 

Jones could be the final piece Oregon needs on defense for this class, as the Ducks really want another defensive lineman. Factor in as well that the Crimson Tide look to be favorites to land DT McKinnley Jackson. Jackson told me he thought Oregon waited too long to get in the picture with him, but it could be just the opposite with Jones. 

The Ducks have received six flip predictions on the 247Sports crystal ball in the past month, and the site even lists Jones as a soft Oregon commit. It’s not set in stone, but the dominoes could be starting to fall here for Mario Cristobal and Co.  

Jones will announce his decision at noon on February 5.  

 

Anthony Beavers Jr. 

The creator of the term “Cali Flock,” Beavers has been committed to the Ducks since April of last year. Even with that being the case, two Pac-12 schools have remained in touch with him and are recruiting the safety diligently. 

USC and Arizona State appear to be the biggest threats at this time. USC is always going to be in the picture, not necessarily because of its on-field success but because SoCal is home for him and the program has tons of history. 

As for Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils, the former NFL analyst seems to have ASU on the rise. Not only did they upset Oregon, but they won they were one of only four Pac-12 teams to win their bowl game. 

Edwards is developing a really strong pipeline to California. As evidence, look no further than the commitments of Elijah Badger and LV Bunkley Shelton -- two prospects that Oregon really coveted at one time. 

I’m sure the Ducks are still recruiting Beavers, but it makes sense to keep an eye on him with how Arizona State is surging.

 
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