Ducks hope to pick some plums among new recruits
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Recruiting, being an inexact science, does not make a college football team. But a Fiesta Bowl victory and No. 2 ranking should help.
'You would hope that type of positive image and performance would entice or influence young people,' Oregon coach Mike Bellotti says. 'Or parents.'
The Ducks are about to learn how much their 38-16 drubbing of Colorado affected recruiting. On Wednesday, recruits can sign letters of intent. The Ducks have nonbinding verbal commitments from at least nine players; Oregon State has commitments from at least 17.
Before the Fiesta Bowl, Bellotti said he hoped to get 'about 12 commitments from the greatest athletes on the West Coast.' But the term 'greatest athletes' has been subjective, especially considering the Ducks started walk-ons Chris Tetterton and Wesly Mallard.
Bellotti has emphasized the need for cornerbacks and landed three, so far: Parris Moore, Fountain Valley, Calif.; Tarrell Richards, West Valley City, Utah, who will convert from quarterback; and Aaron Gipson, a Rashad Bauman-sized defensive back from Fontana, Calif.
On the defensive line, the Ducks will bring in Shawn Perkins from Pendleton and Junior Siavii, a 6-5, 323-pound California JC product who signed last year but did not qualify academically. The Ducks also are still in the running for Salt Lake City prep Haloti Ngata, a tackle who withdrew his commitment to Nebraska.
Chris Solomona, a 6-5, 278 defensive lineman who could end up being the plum of the recruiting season, says he will choose between Oregon and Washington. Solomona signed with the Huskies out of high school but had to attend junior college in Torrance, Calif.
UO has found linebackers Anthony Trucks of Antioch, Calif., and JC transfer Tate Pittman. Offensive line recruits include Hawaiian prep Enoka Lucas and Arizona prep Chaz White.
The Ducks also have hired Andy Ludwig as offensive coordinator. Ludwig, 37, spent four years at Fresno State, where he held the same position. Ludwig, who made about $100,000 last year, replaces Jeff Tedford, who earned $175,000 at Oregon and recently took the head coaching job at California.