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Oregon Football

Torres' Take: Latest in Oregon Football Recruiting

July 22, 2020
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Welcome to another edition of Torres’ Take. This entry marks Week 52, a whole year of these write-ups! 

It’s been a blast compiling all of the biggest storylines, and I hope you all have enjoyed reading them. As always thank you for your support, and make sure to check out our YouTube channel! 

It’s been another big week as Oregon landed another commitment and high schools are starting to take action regarding next season. Shall we get caught up? 

Emar’rion Winston 

The week’s main storyline was that the 4-star 2022 linebacker committed to the Ducks. 

Winston’s last name may look familiar, as he is the younger brother of former Oregon linebacker La’mar Winston. Emar’rion is rated 0.9115 on the 247Sports Composite, good for third among all players in Oregon and the No. 20 outside linebacker in his class. 

The Portland native attends Central Catholic High School. The Ducks were the lone school to offer back in June of last year, and the brother connection proved hard to beat. 

Is there any other school in the country that has Oregon’s brother-to-brother pipeline? Just look at the current roster: the Sewell brothers (Noah and Penei), the Faoliu brothers (Austin and Andrew), Patrick Herbert (older brother Justin is now in the NFL), Travis Dye (older brother Troy now in the NFL). 

If you expand the list to include incoming prospects you also have Kyron Ware-Hudson in the class of 2021, whose older brother Keyon is entering his redshirt freshman year. And you don’t have to go too far back to recall the Wilcox brothers, the Mariota brothers, the Griffin brothers and the Robinson twins. 

Winston stands as the lone commit for Oregon in the 2022 class after running back Jaydn Ott decided earlier this summer to reopen his recruitment. 

California high school football  

More big news came when the California Interscholastic Federation announced that due to the pandemic, its fall sports won’t get underway until December or January. 

The move already has drawn a reaction from several college-bound seniors, including Oregon cornerback commit Jaylin Davies. Davies tweeted that he will pass on his senior season and enroll in Eugene in January. 

I also spoke with defensive line pledge Keanu Williams, who told me he will follow suit and become an early enrollee. That conversation will be posted on our YouTube channel soon, so keep your eyes open for that. 

Northern California, which hasn’t been hit as hard by the virus, announced it will proceed as scheduled. If that holds true, Oregon’s prized offensive weapon, 5-star wideout Troy Franklin, would play his senior year for Menlo-Atherton. 

If the NCAA decides to postpone football until spring, some of college football’s biggest stars could well decline to suit up for their final seasons. But it would be a silver lining of sorts if commits arriving early over the winter would be eligible to take their place.  

Jason Marshall Jr. 

The nation’s No. 4 cornerback on the 247Sports Composite announced his final five schools, and Oregon made the cut along with Alabama, Florida, LSU and hometown Miami. 

I was a bit surprised to see the Ducks on the list; they would have to overcome some really big names and the distance factor to score his commitment. We’ll see if Rod Chance can make up some ground with the 5-star product of Miami Palmetto. 

The 247Sports Crystal Ball indicates Florida as Marshall’s likely destination, as the Gators hold two of the three picks.  

Isaiah Brevard 

Another one of the big names in the Oregon class of 2021 announced that he is shutting down his recruitment. The 4-star wideout’s decision didn’t surprise me too much, seeing as how recruits have no idea when they might be able to take visits or communicate with coaches in person. 

It appears the Oregon coaching staff can breathe a sigh of relief, as this could discourage competitors from trying to flip Brevard. 

Christian Burkhalter 

Burkhalter’s name popped up on the radar fairly recently, when the Ducks offered earlier this month. At the time, many experts had him as a Nebraska lean, but there has been a shift in the 247Sports Crystal Ball, with Oregon receiving five predictions this week for the Spanish Fort (Ala.) prospect. 

On Wednesday morning Burkhalter announced he will be making his college choice Thursday afternoon at 5 PM. Although he didn’t specify, that would likely be at 2 PM PST for fans locacted in the Western footprint. 

It would appear the 6-foot-5, 230-pound star is an outside linebacker project for Oregon.

Our Jonathan Charles spoke with him in a recent interview, and you can read that here.  

Jonah Miller  

Miller committed to Oregon a few months ago and does not appear to be wavering at all. He told me it’s a relief to be done with the process, and now he’s focused on preparing for his college career in Eugene. 

Miller, at just shy of 6-9, is the largest offensive lineman in the Ducks’ 2021 haul -- and he thinks he might still be growing. Talk about a scary prospect for Pac-12 defenses. 

I continued my Zoom interview series with Miller. You can watch it for free on our YouTube channel. 

 

Team Notes 

 

Jevon Holland  

Transitioning to some team news, Holland was named to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s best defensive back. The Northern California native has a reputation as one of college football’s premier ballhawks, and he also excels at returning punts. 

Holland is probably the most versatile players in Oregon’s defensive secondary, as he spent many snaps last season playing slot corner. The sky is the limit for Holland, who could be a high 2021 NFL draft pick if he decides to come out a year early. 

 

Thomas Graham Jr.  

Two defensive backs were named to the watch list? That’s right, the Oregon senior cornerback was also recognized by as among the best at his position. 

I remember watching Graham during his sophomore season in 2018, when he took a huge step forward and went from 4 passes defended to 18 in his second season. He was thrown into the fire early but has blossomed into a reliable defender against both the pass and the run. 

Graham's return is one of the many reasons Oregon is being labeled as an elite defense for the 2020 season. 

 

Isaac Slade-Matautia  

Replacing Troy Dye will be no small task, but the Ducks have a very capable candidate in linebacker in Slade-Matautia. 

ISM has been a consistent tackling machine during his time in Eugene. He is one of the players on defense who doesn’t get enough praise locally. 

However, it looks like the national experts see him as a difference maker. He’s been chosen for the watch list for the Butkus Award, given annually to the country’s top linebacker.  

 

CJ Verdell 

After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Oregon’s leading returning rusher was named to the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s best running back. 

Initially, there may have been some concerns about his size, but he has done everything asked of him from Day 1. Verdell could find himself on some NFL draft big boards with another strong season.  

 

Johnny Johnson III 

Johnson enters his senior season with a track record of consistent improvement. I remember watching him struggle as a freshman, but now he looks like a completely different player. 

Johnson received some well-deserved recognition by landing on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.  

 

Recent Oregon offers 

 

2021  

Ty Williams, safety 

6-1, 186 pounds 

Muskogee High in Oklahoma 

Rating/ranking: 3-star, 0.8765 on the Composite; No. 32 S, No. 8 prospect in Oklahoma 

Commitment status: committed to Oklahoma State (April 26) 

Offers of note: California, Georgia Tech, Tennessee (18 total) 

 

2022 

Jordan Hudson, wide receiver 

6-1, 180 pounds 

Garland High in Texas 

Rating/ranking: 4-star, 0.9618 on the Composite; No. 15 WR, No. 21 prospect in Texas 

Offers of note: Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Miami, Oklahoma, USC (20 total) 

 

Amarion Brown, wide receiver 

6-3, 176 pounds 

Martin County High in Stuart (Fla.) 

Rating/ranking: 4-star, 0.9000 on the Composite; No. 27 WR, No. 27 prospect in Florida 

Offers of note: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Texas A&M (14 total) 

 

 
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