On the trail: The Ducks had about 20 recruits visit last weekend, including highly touted running back Jonathan Stewart. The 5-10, 218-pound Stewart, who rushed for a Washington prep record 7,757 yards at Timberline High in Olympia, has dropped USC from consideration and likely will choose from Washington State, Tennessee and Oregon Ñ he has visited all three Ñ and maybe Washington.
The Ducks also are interested in the second-best Washington prep running back, J.R. Hasty from Bellevue High, but Hasty will reportedly go only as a package deal with linebacker teammate E.J. Savannah.
Fans at the Oregon-Oregon State basketball game Saturday night serenaded the gathered recruits with 'Sign With Oregon!' and 'Come Play Football!' chants.
Other prospects: Another prospect thought to be high on Oregon's list is linebacker Rey Maualuga of Eureka, Calif., but online recruiting services all say he probably will go to USC. É The Ducks are trying to lure cornerback Cary Harris away from USC. É Lake Oswego QB Nick Lomax visited last weekend, and his parents attended the UO-OSU game. The Web site Scout.com says Lomax will visit Boise State and either Hawaii or Washington.
Verbals: The Ducks received several verbal commitments last weekend, and are approaching 20. Looking to build immediate depth, Oregon has recruited several junior college players, including wide receiver James Finley and offensive lineman Pat So'oalo, both former signees out of high school, and some linebackers. Prep players can sign binding letters of intent starting Feb. 2; junior college players could start signing last month.
In the fold: T.R. Smith, the Jefferson High product who signed with Oregon last February but did not meet academic requirements for initial enrollment, says he re-signed with the Ducks after passing his entrance exam. Smith and defensive back Willie Glasper enrolled in classes and started working out last Monday. Smith, a high school quarterback and defensive back, expects to play running back with the Ducks.
Ñ Jason Vondersmith