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Oregon Football

Torres' Take: Latest in Oregon Football Recruiting

June 17, 2020
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Welcome to another week of Torres’ Take. 

Oregon football players are slowly but surely making their way back to Eugene to resume voluntary workouts. That’s big news. 

Oregon landed its top-rated commit yet in the 2021 class. That is HUGE news. 

You can probably see what I’m getting at. It’s been a big week, and we’ve got some awesome updates on Oregon commits and recruits. 

Also, this is your weekly reminder to head on over to YouTube to check out the new channel that I’m running for ScoopDuck. I talk to some of the biggest names on the Oregon football recruiting trail -- and it’s 100% free.  

With that said, let’s get to the top storylines.  

Troy Franklin 

Without a doubt, the biggest headline in the past week was that the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver committed to the Ducks, picking Oregon over fellow finalists Alabama, Arizona State and Washington. 

Franklin becomes the highest rated commit in Mario Cristobal’s 2021 class, moving the Pac-12 champion from the No. 10 to No. 8 class in the country – with another boost expected from Wednesday’s updated 247Sports rankings. As of Tuesday, the class averaged a 0.9213 per commit -- well above the average ranking for a 4-star prospect. 

A quick side note: Franklin is the second highest-rated wide receiver ever to choose the Ducks. The leader is Cameron Colvin, part of that huge group from national powerhouse De La Salle High, who committed in 2004.  

As for Franklin’s recruitment, Jim Mastro was instrumental in landing the Bay Area’s top recruit in the rising senior class. No doubt new receivers coach Bryan McClendon also played a role. 

The Ducks now have two wide receivers committed. And they’re leading for 4-stars Dont’e Thornton and Xavier Worthy, with Worthy announcing later this month. 

Franklin’s could be a program-changing commitment, as he is incredibly athletic and has a great burst of speed for someone who stands 6-2. He also is the third player from California (fourth if you count Seven McGee) to pick the Ducks, keeping the Cali pipeline strong. 

The Ducks want to take at least four wide receivers in this class. 

 

Keanu Koht  

The 4-star 2021 defensive end recently including the Ducks in his final 5, along with Florida, LSU, Alabama and Auburn. The Florida all-American is from Vero Beach. 

I’m not going to say the Ducks are completely out of it here, because you can never count out Cristobal. But I’ve seen lots of lists like this, and more often than not players will choose the school closer to home. 

There are no 247Sports crystal ball predictions at this time.  

 

Xavier Worthy  

The Fresno wide receiver made a commitment to the adidas All-American game in San Antonio (Texas), scheduled to be played in January. 

Should Worthy commit to the Ducks later this month, it would give Oregon three All-Americans in the 2021 class.  

 

Brandon Buckner 

Before and even after the Chandler (Ariz.) prospect committed, some people were scratching their heads. Oh, he’s just a 3-star. Or, he’s not that big for an edge rusher. 

Well, as we’ve discussed on the ScoopDuck in Hi-Fi podcast, Branson Buckner is the perfect 3-star to take a risk on -- if you can even call it that. He’s a strong pass rusher with great hands; he almost broke the Arizona single-season sacks record last year -- and he was injured four games. 

Add in that his dad is Brentson Buckner, the defensive line coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and you’ve just landed an NFL legacy commit. He’s also going to be coming up to the games, being around the coaches, the recruits, and their families. 

See what I’m getting at? This a win for everyone involved. What’s more, Buckner strengthens Oregon’s hold on another state’s top talent. 

I caught up with Buckner in a Zoom interview to talk about what led him to choose the Ducks and what’s next for him. You can watch that interview for free here on our YouTube channel.  

 

Tye Edwards 

If I had to take a guess, I’d say the Ducks are looking to fill out this 2021 class sooner rather than later. Oregon already has a dynamic running back in Seven McGee, but they could be looking to pair his lightning with some thunder -- a physical, bruising back. 

Well, look no further than 6-3, 212-pound Tye Edwards, a player the Oregon coaches have been keen on for a while now. The feeling I get is that they want to bring him out to Eugene to get a better feel for him and his game, but that could be all that needs to happen before he jumps on board. 

Edwards tells me Oregon is the only visit he plans on taking, and that the school he commits to is getting, “Derrick Henry in the Pac-12.” You can watch my full interview with him here.  

 

Jaydn Ott 

Not the best news to report, but the Ducks did lose their lone commit in the 2022 class when the Bishop Gorman running back backed off his pledge Tuesday night. 

Ott holds 10 offers, highlighted by Georgia, Nebraska and Arizona State. I can’t say for sure if the Ducks will continue to recruit him, but he’s a solid player from a very successful high school in Las Vegas that consistently puts out top talent into college football programs. 

Ott is ranked the No. 26 running back in the country and rated a 4-star prospect at 0.9000 by 247Sports. 

 

Mailbag Series 

I’m going to start a mailbag series on the YouTube channel! In it, I will do my best to answer subscriber/viewer questions about Oregon football, Oregon football recruiting, and general sports. 

Feel free to shoot me a direct message or comment on my tweet and I’ll answer it in the video!  

 

Players returning to Eugene  

 

As some of you may have seen on your timelines, Oregon football players have started to return to Eugene. Jhop mentioned it in one of his recent updates, but it looks like most of the players should be on campus by the end of this week. 

However, they aren’t jumping right into practice. Voluntary workouts come first; you may have seen our Scott Boldt was out there with Tyler Shough, Cyrus Habibi-Likio and company. 

Next is the return of voluntary workouts in small groups for such things as lifting weights, which I believe coaches are allowed to observe via Zoom. It’s not totally football, but we are navigating the days of a pandemic here folks. Patience. 

By the way, if you aren’t following Boldt, you’re missing out on some GREAT Oregon content.  

 

NCAA practice return date 

On a similar note, Bleacher Report did a great write-up on the NCAA decision for a date to return to practice. We’ve discussed it a bit here on the site, but it’s looking like that date they’re shooting for is around mid- to late July, with the form of activities somewhat resembling the NFL’s organized team activities. 

On this timeline, fall camp would start around August 7. You can read story here for full details.  

 

Jayson Jones 

The Ducks largest defensive line commit in the 2020 class, Jayson Jones was at one point committed to his home state Crimson Tide in Alabama. Some schools viewed him as an offensive lineman; at one point, he measured 6-6 and 380 pounds. 

Well, the Ducks’ defensive tackle has been putting in some serious work in quarantine, as his latest update shows him losing nearly 65 POUNDS. He’s still a big dude at 6-6, 316, but I imagine the strength staff will be happy to see he has already trimmed down a bit ahead of his arrival. 

 

Recruiting under Cristobal  

This last anecdote was kind of a funny one that I stumbled upon. A friend of mine asked me who the top wideout Oregon landed was, and I had to check it out. 

The highest-rated wide receiver to commit to the Ducks, as I mentioned, was Cameron Colvin (0.9932 per 247Sports). I looked up the top recruits Oregon has ever landed and came to learn that three of the top five have been under Cristobal, who has only coached two complete seasons at Oregon. 

Oregon’s highest-ranked class in school history is the 2019 group at No. 7. At this writing, the Ducks sit at No. 7 in the country for 2021. Among schools with at least 10 commits, the Ducks trail only Clemson and Ohio State in average commit rating. 

The class has 13 commits, and is probably going to wind up in the 23 to 25 range. Early signing day is just about six months away. 

Enjoy the show.  

 
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