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Oregon Football Recruiting

Torres' Take: Latest Oregon Football & Recruiting

February 11, 2020
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Welcome back to Torres’ Take. 

In the past week, Oregon inked its last player in the 2020 class. And there has been a lot of team news that could change how next season plays out. 

Donte Williams 

Arguably Oregon’s top assistant who is not a coordinator, Williams is officially off to Los Angeles to coach cornerbacks and coordinate the pass defense at USC. 

Losing Williams is a massive blow to Oregon’s player development and recruiting efforts. It’s no secret that Williams is the one of the architects of the CaliFlock, and he was pivotal in turning Thomas Graham Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir into two of the strongest cornerbacks in the Pac 12. 

However, keep in mind that Mario Cristobal has made numerous strong hires when it’s been time to make a coaching change. Williams’ timing also isn’t the worst, as Oregon’s 2020 class is already signed, sealed and delivered. 

Since Cristobal is still head coach, I don’t foresee any recruits asking for releases from their national letters of intent. I’m not saying there won’t be rumblings, but such a request is usually due to a change at the top. 

Check out ScoopDuck’s latest hot board to stay abreast of some of the coaches Cristobal might pursue.  

National Signing Day 

Oregon didn’t make a lot of headlines to cap the 2020 recruiting year. The biggest news of the day was flipping 4-star Alabama defensive tackle commit Jayson Jones. Reportedly, some behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Alabama staff -- they proposed moving him to the offensive line asking him to “blueshirt” -- played a major role in Jones’ decision. 

According to Jones, at risk were in-home and official visits, and his arrival to Alabama would be delayed until August 1. On top of all that, he said the Tide did not contact him from November to mid-January. 

Clearly, this left a pretty sour taste in Jones’ mouth, and Oregon was there ready to capitalize. The Ducks now find themselves with a 6-6, 340-pound defensive lineman to help shore up the trenches after Jordon Scott leaves in January. 

The 2020 class will go down as the 12th-ranked class in the country and the top class in the Pac-12, bringing in a program-record three 5-star talents. 

Jermaine Terry 

The Ducks are in need of a tight end for 2021, and they are focusing on Terry. 

The Richmond (Calif.) native told me he hears from the Ducks all the time. He’s been talking to Cristobal, Williams, Jim Mastro and newly named offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. 

It looks like he’s going to be in Eugene in the spring, likely in April or May, when Terry plans to visit with his 7-on-7 team as it tours the Pacific Northwest. He figures to see Oregon State, Washington and Washington State as well when they play their Seattle tournament. 

Terry said he is hearing the most from UCLA, Oregon, Cal, Alabama and Miami. He’s already checked in five times with the nearby Bears, who are on the rise in Pac-12 recruiting battles. 

As for a timeline, the 4-star plans to cut his list to 10 on his birthday: May 6. He might eliminate more schools than that, but he is fairly confident Oregon will make the cut. 

A more in-depth update is in the works. 

Junior (Lonyatta) Alexander 

The Ducks are in heavy pursuit of this Kennedy Catholic 3-star wide receiver. 

The Burien (Wash.) star told me that he’s hearing from the Ducks daily, particularly from Cristobal, Jovon Bouknight and Keith Heyward. They’re working to get him to come down for a visit, but Alexander has been busy with school and his 7-on-7 team, Team FSP. 

Alexander went to Berkeley recently for Cal’s junior day and to hometown Washington’s junior day in late January. He could be coming to Eugene on March 7 for Oregon’s junior day, as he will be in Portland with his 7-on-7 team for a tournament. 

Aside from targeting Oregon’s junior day, he is also looking to take trips to Arizona State and Nebraska. The teams most involved with his recruitment are Nebraska, Cal, Utah, Oregon and Washington. 

Alexander said he has been impressed by the energy around the Oregon program and how the Ducks have shown up in big-time games. 

A more complete update is in the works.  

Savion Byrd  

The Ducks recently offered the 5-star offensive lineman from Duncanville (Texas). He is the No. 2 offensive tackle in the 2021 class and the No. 3 player in Texas, rated at 0.9930 by the 247Sports Composite. 

Oregon will need another stud lineman when Penei Sewell heads to the NFL, and Byrd could fit the bill. He has a big slate of visits on deck for the spring, including Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Texas, Miami and Florida. 

A select group of schools have made an impression early on, most notably Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Georgia and SMU. He likes Oregon’s uniforms and the play of their offensive line year after year. 

Texas currently leads the predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball. 

Ty Thompson 

Oregon is back in Arizona after this 4-star quarterback, the nation’s No.14 pro-style QB and the No. 4 prospect in the Grand Canyon State. 

Thompson told our Jonathan Charles that he is for sure looking to make a trip out to Oregon this spring, as he wants to make his commitment during the summer. He was impressed by the Moorhead hire, describing the new OC’s football knowledge as “incredible.” 

The schools recruiting him the hardest at the moment are Iowa, Iowa State, Cal and Duke. 

Javaun Wilson 

Oregon inked Wilson in the 2019 class as a 4-star athlete. They ultimately decided to use him as a running back, but he ended up redshirting and didn’t get any real run in the backfield. 

CJ Verdell and Travis Dye are entrenched as Oregon's top two ball carriers, and come June the Ducks will welcome 2020 signee Trey Benson to the backfield. When you factor it all in, you can see why the staff decided to move Wilson to linebacker. 

There is a lot of talent in that position room as well, but Wilson probably has a better chance to break through for snaps on defense. At 6-2 and 211 pounds, he has great size for the position, and he should bulk up further with another off-season in the weight room. 

DJ Johnson 

The Ducks announced another position change last week, as junior defensive end DJ Johnson will be play tight end. 

Currently 6-5 and 272 pounds, Johnson likely will be asked to trim some weight. But he possesses elite athleticism and could be a great addition to the offense. 

The Ducks didn’t ink a tight end in the 2020 class, and “the predator” could fill the void left when Jacob Breeland graduated. In addition, Cam McCormick is still recovering from an ankle injury that cut short his second season in a row. 

Johnson sounds pretty excited to be helping the Ducks put up points next season.  

 

 
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