First up is Justin Rogers. He was tentatively scheduled to attend the Spring Game, but that did not happen. He was always a difficult player to pull across the country as many insiders feel that TCU has the lead at the moment. He announced yesterday that his decision date is about a month away.
Coach Arroyo and Coach Taggart will continue to work on the talented signal caller, but without a visit, it’s not a long shot, it’s a no go. Could he still visit before then? Sure. But even if he does, I still don’t think he picks the Ducks. In the recruiting world, with only 25 spots available, you simply cannot win them all and there is a reason that the staff has begun to look at other 2018 quarterbacks.
The thing about elite quarterbacks is that they don’t want to come in to sit on the bench. Almost always the truly elite players at the position look at the depth chart and see if there is an incumbent who will keep them on the bench for a single. If so, many times they simply move on. It’s why the Ducks had such a difficult time finding an immediate successor to Marcus Mariota – none of the elite QB’s wanted to sit behind him for two years. It’s not that they fear competing, but they simply want to play. Look at all of the QB transfers and do the math, elite QB’s don’t want to go somewhere and sit for a year or two anymore.
Well, a 2018 QB is going to be behind Justin Herbert for at least one season, maybe two. So, with Rogers not a likely choice for this class, where do the Ducks turn? One player to keep an eye on here is Adrian Martinez. A one-time Cal commit, he was widely thought to like Tennessee, but then Michael Penix committed to the Volunteers. Don’t be surprised if the Ducks circle back to Martinez.
I know that Coach Arroyo was in Idaho to check in on Colson Yankoff, but that ship appears to have sailed when the new staff took to long to reach out. Doesn’t mean that they won’t keep working – they will – just means that it is going to be very tough to get back into the good graces of Yankoff.
JAMAL CURRIE-ELLIOTT INVITED TO THE OPENING
Why is this such a big deal? Because this is an opportunity for a player already committed to Oregon to spend some time up close and personal with multiple elite recruits; a chance to recruit for the Ducks and get in the ear of some of the best football players in the nation. At a time when Oregon is usually the antithesis of what many people think they know about the state, the weather usually is a benefit and makes the pitch much easier to many.
Obviously, it also shines a bright positive light on the Duck program when a player who has already said he will be a Duck is included among those elite athletes invited.
KALON GERVIN DECOMMITS
This is a good thing for the Ducks. He is from the same high school as former Duck Dior Mathis and has a long standing relationship with Ray Woodie. A Rivals 100 player, Gervin has legitimate 4.4 speed and is one of the elite cornerbacks in the nation.
He has not yet visited, but if he makes it out, the Ducks will be in very good position to land the Detroit (MI) four-star cornerback. Obviously I cannot share premium information here, but the reality that he decommitted and was talking with the staff shortly after should give you hope.
The defensive backfield that the staff is building might be one of the most dominant groups in the nation within a couple of years. Certainly, that is just based on projections, but the talent that the staff is going to have back there is a significant upgrade over the last two (and really three) seasons. When Ifo Ekpre-Olomu went down prior to the 2015 Rose Bowl, we saw just how bad the rest of the defensive backfield really was; it was exposed in the following two seasons and is a big reason that Oregon fired their old staff. That talent is still going to have to play and play hard, but they have the chance to be special when all is said and done.