Friday, March 25, 2011

The Oregon Ducks' 2011 Football Recruiting Class

De'Anthony Thomas Leads Oregon's 2011 Recruiting Class

We are just over a month away from the Ducks' spring game, so what can we expect from the incoming freshmen?  The Ducks' 2011 recruiting class is stocked with talent and athleticism, headlined by the recruit from southern California De'Anthony Thomas.  The Ducks also reached all the way out to Florida to grab the speedy WR Tacoi Sumler.  Chip Kelly has a lot of good things to say about this class,   especially about the linebackers and offensive linemen they signed. Overall, this class has been touted by scouts nation wide and will add the necessary depth for the next few years and the star talent for the future of the Ducks football program.  Here is the complete list of 2011 recruits compiled from ESPN's recruiting page and Rivals.

Recruit                      Position    HT    WT      40      Rivals Ranking       ESPN Ranking
                                                                                         Out of 10             Out of 100 

Devon Blackmon       WR         6'0     180      4.4           4-Star- 6.0               4-Star- 83
           - Rivals has Blackmon ranked as a WR and ESPN ranks him as an athlete, either way Blackmon's explosiveness with the ball in his hands gives the Ducks' offense another versatile weapon.  He played quarterback in high school so he will be a work in progress and will most likely redshirt his freshman season.  He will be a perfect fit in Chip's offense using his passing ability for trick plays out of the backfield. 

Tra Carson                RB           6'1     218      4.6           3-Star- 5.6               3-Star- 76
           - Carson will be the power back to complement the lightning backs.  Carson has a lot of size to bang through the offensive line, but he also has the speed to breakaway in the secondary.  He looks similar to Blount in his highlight video, the way he can move his feet for such a big man.  Tra ran for over 2000 yards his senior season and recorded 24 touchdowns.  It will take some time for Carson to see the field with all the depth the Ducks have at running back, but when he does get in the game his size will allow him to make an immediate impact, especially around the goal line.

Rahim Cassell             LB           6'1     215        -            3-Star- 5.6               3-Star- 79
           -Cassell will be a solid player at the outside linebacker position.  He has the speed to get to the quarterback and he can also drop into coverage although this is an area he needs to improve on.  He is very good at sideline to sideline pursuit, and he is solid against the inside run.  In a few years he could be a pass-rushing threat similar to the recently departed Kenny Rowe. 

Tyson Coleman           LB          6'2     220         -            3-Star- 5.7               4-Star- 79
           -Coleman is a fast and an explosive hitter.  He could potentially fill in at strong safety or he could play the outside linebacker position.  He uses a consistently high motor and great pursuit skills to fly towards defenders from sideline to sideline.  His quick first step makes it very hard for blockers to stay in front of him.  It will be interesting to see what role Coleman develops into, but he has a lot of talent and potential to be a big contributor in years to come.

Jared Ebert (JC)         DT          6'5     285      4.8           4-Star- 5.8                    -          
           -Ebert is a JC transfer from Iowa Western C.C., he will most likely fill the huge void made by the departure of Brandon Bair.  The Ducks lost a lot of talent along their front line and they will be counting on the incumbents and Ebert to fill in this season.  Ebert is a very strong interior defender and is very good at clogging up the middle.  He has a big frame and his size could help the Ducks go up against bigger offensive lines in the SEC and other conferences.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu         DB         5'10    180      4.5           4-Star- 5.8               4-Star- 79
           -Ifo is a very physical corner who can help out against the run and also has good ball skills.  He should fill in for Cliff Floyd once he takes his talents to the NFL.  He will most likely red-shirt next year to give him time to develop and improve his ability to get into his breaks on the ball.  He has a fast first step that allowed him to get away with poor technique in High School, but to be a good college player he will have to learn to stay lower on his back peddle so he has more burst into his break while the ball is in the air.   He is a good tackler in the open field and is also solid against the run.

James Euscher             OL         6'7      278       -              3-Star- 5.5               2-Star- 71
           - Euscher is a big body who will hopefully be an impact tackle in the future.  He has a lot of upside but will need a few years to develop.  He needs to work off of his quickness and breaks off the ball to guard against quick defenders.  He shows the work ethic to improve for the Ducks if he has the right coaching.  

Jacob Fisher                 OL         6'7      270      5.2           3-Star- 5.7               3-Star- 77
           -Fisher is a versatile player that really lacks a position right now.  He will most likely round into an offensive linemen because scouts think he has the frame to add a lot of bulk.  His versatility could allow him to possibly slip out on trick plays near the goal line and catch some touchdowns.  He has a lot of work to do if he wants to become a big time player, but he definitely shows the ability to get there.

Christian French        ATH        6'6      229      4.4           4-Star- 5.9               4-Star- 79
           -French will most likely grow into a defensive end but he could play tight end as well.  He is freakishly athletic.  On defense he has shown the ability to get under defenders pads despite his tall frame.  He needs to improve his tackling fundamentals, mostly he tries to hit the offensive player as hard as possible and does not wrap up.  He will have to add a lot of muscle and weight, but he has the frame to support this change.  He could be a NFL DE prospect sooner than later if he spends some time in the weight room.

Carlyle Garrick           LB           6'2      205       -             3-Star- 5.5                3-Star- 75
           -Garrick has a good combination of size and speed, but he is very raw as a line backer and needs a lot of coaching up to meet his potential.  He is a consistent and big hitting tackler and shows the ability to match up against tight ends in coverage.  He has enough speed to play the safety position if he does not add weight.  ESPN marks him as a potential sleeper.  

Rodney Hardrick        LB           6'3      205      4.5           3-Star- 5.6               3-Star- 76
           -Hardrick shows the athleticism necessary to be a productive linebacker in the NCAA.  He has a good nose for the ball and seems to always be around at the end of the play.  Rodney has shown the willingness to mix it up along the front line in running situations.  He needs to add weight and muscle to be a force at the collegiate level, but he shows the fundamentals and potential to be a good defensive player.

Tyler Johnstone          OL           6'6      260        -             4-Star- 5.8                3-Star- 78
           -Johnstone is a very agile offensive lineman who will need to spend some time in the weight room before he spends any on the field.  His long arms and quick feet give him an advantage against defenders but right now he lacks the strength to compete.  He has shown the ability and aggressiveness to get down field to make second tier blocks on running plays which is perfect for the Ducks' running attack.  If he can get stronger to go along with the tenacity he shows as a blocker he will spend a lot of time on the Ducks' offensive line.  

Sam Kamp                   DE           6'5     237        4.9          3-Star- 5.6              3-Star- 75
          -Kamp is listed as a DE on Rivals and a DT on ESPN.  Either way he will help out on the defensive line, he is solid against the run and has learned to keep his pads low against smaller players.  He has trouble getting off blocks once he is engaged, shredding these blocks will be key in his progress.  

B.J. Kelley                    WR          6'2     175         -            3-Star- 5.6               4-Star- 80
         -Kelly gives the Ducks a tall target in the passing game with the speed to be a deep threat and the size to be a possession receiver.  He has long arms and better than average leaping ability, both of which allow him to win 50'50 balls more often than not.  He has soft hands and knows to catch the ball away from his body and is very proficient catching the ball over his shoulder.

Lake Koa-Ka'ai           DE           6'4     235         -             3-Star- 5.6               3-Star- 79
         -Lake is a defender with a lot of upside.  He is good against the run and the pass and has a very large frame.  He is too skinny to play the position at this point of his career and will need to bulk up quite a bit.  He needs to work at being a more consistent tackler and getting out of blocks once engaged.  

Colt Lyerla                  ATH         6'5     225        4.6          4-Star- 6.1               3-Star- 79
         -Lyerla has been compared to Brian Urlacher at the LB position.  He could play multiple positions, DE, TE, or LB.  He also played running back in high school.  I think that he could make a big impact as an inside linebacker or at the tight end position.  He seems to have rare athletic ability and I think it would be a good decision to put him at a impact position.  Getting him the ball as a tight end could be a great option.

Marcus Mariota          QB            6'4     187        4.7          3-Star- 5.7               2-Star- 71
         -Mariota is an athletic quarterback who can be a threat when running the ball or staying in the pocket.  He is tall enough to see over the defense and he has a strong enough arm to push the ball down the field.  His major flaw is consistency, he shows a lot of potential as a pocket passer but he does not always stay with the play or read the defense correctly. He also needs to adds some bulk to absorb some of the hits he will take in Oregon's offense.

Jamal Prater                OL           6'4      290        -              3-Star- 5.6             2-Star- 73
         - The Ducks were criticized for having such a small offensive line last season, Prater does not fit that mold.  He is a huge prospect, size wise, and he will have to develop his footwork and blocking technique.  Prater needs to improve his flexibility and all around strength, but he could be a big time player for the Ducks in a few years.

Tacoi Sumler               WR          5'8      151        4.4           4-Star- 5.8             4-Star- 81
         -Despite Sumler's slight frame he should make a giant impact on the Ducks' offense.  The Ducks stole him away from the SEC and other Florida schools who wanted Sumler because he is one of the fastest prospects in the 2011 class.  He has great hands and has the route running abilities to get free.  He will fit perfectly in Chip's offense, I imagine he will be used a lot in WR screens and they could also bring him in the back field for reverses.  He will be a dynamic weapon if he adds a few pounds of muscle.  

De'Anthony Thomas  ATH         5'9     160        4.4            5-Star- 6'1              4-Star- 84
         -The addition of Thomas is big for a few reasons, the first being the versatility he brings to the field.  It is not certain whether he will be on offense or defense, he is a great running back but the Ducks' back field is already very crowded.  It is likely that he becomes a shut down corner for the Ducks.  The second reason is that the Ducks' stole him away from his hometown team USC.  This shows that the Ducks are becoming a powerful recruiting school (although there are some serious investigations looking into these recruitments).

Rahsaan Vaughn (JC) WR         6'2     190        4.4            4-Star- 5.8                      -           
         -Vaughn is a big time wide receiver with great speed.  His 6'2 frame has room to add muscle, but he should already step in and be a big contributer next season.  He will help ease the loss of Jeff Maehl, but he will have to work hard to learn the ins and outs of the complicated offense.

Anthony Wallace        LB            6'2     220        4.6             4-Star- 5.8             4-Star- 80
         -Wallace is a strong linebacker who can punish either running backs or quarterbacks.  He is not afraid of contact and he likes punishing the opponents.  Wallace shows decent ability in coverage, although he will need to improve in this area.  Wallace will need to add a few pounds and work on his flexibility to be a top performer at the next level.  Anthony shows all the signs of being a huge impact player of the future.

Andre Yruretagoyena OL         6'5      258          -               4-Star- 5.8                4-Star-81
         -Andre is going to be a great addition to Oregon's offensive front.  He needs to add some weight, but he has a big frame already.  He shows a nastiness when run blocking that will be perfect for Chip's scheme.  He has a lot of work to do on basic fundamentals, once these fundamentals are learned then he will be a big time player.   

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