Ducks on hunt for defensive recruits
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Oregon may go to JC ranks to fill Igor Olshansky's shoes
Oregon heads into the weekend chasing at least three players but with the bulk of its recruits committed to the Ducks.
The Ducks are thought to be one of Cameron Colvin's choices, although the standout wide receiver from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., has Michigan and other big-name schools recruiting him. Colvin has a five-star rating, according to TheInsiders.com.
Working in Oregon's favor: The Ducks have received verbal commitments from three of Colvin's teammates Ñ cornerbacks Willie Glasper and Jackie Bates, and safety/linebacker Terrance Kelly. Oregon receiver Demetrius Williams and other players also hail from the Bay Area prep powerhouse.
Oregon also would like to sign two more defensive linemen, ideally Ra'Shon Harris of Pittsburg, Calif., and Phillip Mbakogu of Hayward, Calif.
Oregon wooed Kyle Williams, a five-star linebacker from Illinois, but he appears likely to go to Iowa.
Coach Mike Bellotti says the Ducks want to sign 24 or 25 players next Wednesday, the national letter-of-intent day. As of Thursday, 22 players Ñ all high school players Ñ had given nonbinding verbal commitments to UO coaches.
It could be one of Bellotti's best classes and one of the West Coast's top takes. USC will dominate the West Coast again, but Oregon might be right behind.
Bellotti and his staff set out to sign offensive linemen, and they will get six, including ballyhooed Aaron Klovas of Spanaway, Wash., a former teammate of Duck quarterback Johnny DuRocher. Klovas has a four-star rating, according to TheInsiders.com.
A seventh lineman, Mark Asper of Idaho Falls, Idaho, will reportedly go on a two-year LDS church mission and enroll at Oregon in January 2007, according to TheInsiders.com.
With Terrell Jackson's verbal commitment, the Ducks got the breakaway running back they desired; he runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. The 5-9 190-pounder from Corona, Calif., also considered Arizona State and Cal.
The Ducks continue to load up in the secondary. Kelly, Glasper and Bates all have four-star ratings, according to TheInsiders.com. They are also interested in Kwame Agyeman, a safety from Roselle, Ill.
Bellotti says he wants to sign six defensive linemen, and maybe a seventh now that Igor Olshansky has opted out early for the NFL draft. It appears the Ducks could fall short or will scramble to find some JC linemen before Wednesday, even if Harris and Mbakogu come aboard. Only Oregonians David Faaeteete of Medford and Cole Linehan of Banks have committed as defensive linemen. TheInsiders.com gives Faaeteete a four-star rating.
A quarterback will also be part of the 2004 class: Dennis Dixon of San Leandro, Calif., who the Ducks signed last year, enrolled in school earlier this month and is expected to redshirt next season. He had waited to enroll to pursue a baseball career.
'He's a gifted athlete who is very raw, moldable material at quarterback, and I think he's going to compete,' Bellotti tells The (Eugene) Register-Guard.