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Ducks lure crop of big linemen

It's the year of the lineman at Oregon, which has verbal commitments from six offensive linemen and the state's two best defensive linemen.

Banks High defensive tackle Cole Linehan has told the Ducks he will sign with them Feb. 4, the national letter of intent day. The Ducks already have a firm commitment from North Medford's David Faaeteete.

Linehan spurned an offer from Oregon State, where his brother, Josh Linehan, plays offensive tackle. His grandfather has had Beaver season tickets since Reser Stadium opened, and OSU was Linehan's favorite team growing up.

'But I took the family stuff out of it, which is what you're supposed to do. It's got to be my thing,' says Linehan, a 6-4, 270-pound defensive tackle.

Linehan liked the Duck players he met, as well as defensive line coach Steve Greatwood Ñ 'a guy I can learn a lot from' Ñ and the stability and success of coach Mike Bellotti's staff.

Flying to Eugene for his visit last month in Nike's private jet didn't hurt the Ducks' chances, either. Of the five players who visited Oregon on Dec. 5, three have given verbal commitments Ñ Linehan and offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz and Aaron Klovas Ñ and running back Terrell Jackson of Corona, Calif., has narrowed his choices to Oregon, Arizona State and Cal. The fifth member of the trip, Glencoe quarterback Erik Ainge, has committed to Tennessee.

Linehan and Faaeteete will have to gain 15 to 20 pounds to compete for playing time.

'I don't want to be a 270-pound tackle in the Pac-10,' says Linehan, the son of Ron Linehan, a successful prep coach at Sunset and Westview.

Linehan became UO's 16th known verbal commitment, although TheInsiders.com recruiting news Web site reported that Jerome Boyd, a safety from Los Angeles, also has committed. Bellotti has said he wants to sign 24 or 25 players.