May 4, 2012

2013 In Depth: Safeties

As we continue to look at the recruiting needs for the Oregon Ducks and their signing class of 2013, we will look to the defensive side of the ball and ficus on the safety position.

As our readers will recall, the Ducks lose just one player after the 2012 season, but two more after the 2013 season. The Ducks signed three players in 2012 who project as safeties when they play for the Ducks. Depending on development and possible player movement out of positions, our initial projection was that the Ducks would likely look for two or three safeties for the 2013 class. Looking at the shallow offer list, let us take a look at the potential candidates for the class of 2013.

Currently, the Ducks have extended just two offers to athletes listed as safety in the Rivals database. We will look at those two players as well as some other possibilities to become Oregon Ducks.

Max Redfield

Status: Offered, No Listed Interest

Overview: Redfield is ranked as the second best safety in the nation and 30th overall player in the Rivals database. Watching film of him is reminiscent of watching Marquis Lee last season. Redfield might not have the same speed as Lee, but he is fast nonetheless. He has good size (6-2, 195) and has very good instincts on the defensive side of the ball. With the ball in his hands on offense, he plays very well in space and knows how to make people miss.

Strengths: As a defender, Redfield is very aggressive and a very hard hitter. He plays well in space, but is also very good at filling up in run support and the occasional blitz. He looks very knowledgeable in his assignments. He has good speed and will be able to make plays from across the field when needed.

Weaknesses: As an aggressive player, he occasionally jumps the gun and lets a receiver get behind him into his spot in a zone. While he has the speed to recover at the high school level, in Pac-12 play, that could lead to a touchdown for the opponent.

DSA Odds: Low

Redfield visited Washington last weekend unofficially. While the Huskies received four commitments out of the weekend, Redfield was not one of them. Nonetheless, he has spoken about the possibility of playing with recently signed Shaq Thompson and is not opposed tot he concept. He has also talked about the possibility of playing with the number one safety and number five overall player Su'a Cravens. Most believe Cravens is a very strong USC lean.

Odds Redfield becomes a Duck stand at less than 35%. Redfield has listed Oregon in his top 3 and does plan to make an unofficial visit to Oregon with his mom; the visit might be very beneficial for the Ducks and change these odds significantly.

Connor O'Brien

Status: Offered, Committed to Washington

Overview: Connor O'Brien is listed at safety in the Rivals database, but will more than likely fill out to be a linebacker. Already with good size (6-4, 205), O'Brien will turn into a good linebacker. He has incredible athleticism that will help him excel at any position he plays, but if he maintains the athleticism as he grows into a linebacker's body, he will be very good.

Strengths: O'Brien has very good hands and great athleticism. Watching film of O'Brien, his ability to make plays, whether it be on offense or defense, really jumps out. From a defensive position, he is able to make plays on balls many people cannot, leaping and falling backward to make interceptions which look like sure incomplete passes. He shows tenacity and is a very hard hitter.

Weaknesses: While he is a very good player with great athleticism, it is clear that he is a linebacker at the next level. He does not have great recovery speed and has difficulty with hip turns when called on for coverage. He is better suited for zone coverages and will struggle some when he has to cover some of the better tight ends and running backs.

DSA Odds: Very low O'Brien also visited Washington during the weekend and was one of the four commits that the Huskies gained out of the major recruiting weekend. While O'Brien did not commit during the trip, he did make the call on Monday to commit to the Huskies. Based on his statements he appears solid at this point.

Tyler Foreman

Status: Not Offered, Medium Interest

Overview: Foreman is ranked as the 29th best safety in the early Rivals 2013 rankings. His size is legitimate at 6-2, 190 and he moves very well all over the field. He had an impressive outing at the New Level Athletics Vegas camp in March and was considered one of the top defenders there.

Strengths: Foreman is very good in coverage. He plays great in zone coverages and very well in man coverage situations. He has great ball instincts and in very impressive when he breaks on the ball. He is a good tackler with good form and does not let a lot of people get away from him once he wraps them up for the stop. He is not a ferocious hitter like O'Brien or Redfield, but a very solid tackler.

Weaknesses: Foreman has been known to "disappear" on the field at times when he is not actively involved in the plays. He runs a little stiff and did not show great hip movement when working in man coverage. He looked to labor just a bit when he needed to "cross-over" in coverage.

DSA Odds: Good Foreman comes from the same high school (Encino, CA, Crespi) as current Ducks Bryan Bennett, Hroniss Grasu and Blake Stanton. He has caught the eye of many with his performance at the New Level Athletics camp in Vegas this past March. If offered, there is a good chance that Foreman would be very interested in becoming a Duck.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The original projection called for the Ducks to be looking at adding two to three safeties in the 2013 class. With the shortage of offers at this point it looks like the original projection at this position may be higher than what the Duck coaches are looking for in this group. The Ducks will be deep at the position even into 2013 and may feel their scholarships will be better placed at other positions. We should get a much better idea over the next two months.

Revised projection for this position is now 1-2 safeties.

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