October 31, 2012

Top Trio: OLB

As football season heads into the November stretch, the Oregon football team heads to the road for a game that has been circled on the schedule since last November. A trip to USC for the Ducks on the first weekend of November this year has the hallmarks of an offensive shootout.

With the most difficult stretch of the season approaching and more prospective student athletes visiting campuses around the nation, talk about the top recruits has definitely picked up steam lately.

Today we continue our weekly series intended to rank some of the most talked about players on Oregon's recruiting board. During each week of the season we will look at a different position and the "Top Trio" at the position. The main factors for choosing which players we discuss will be need, buzz and interest; but not necessarily in that order.

Any and all opinions of these articles are purely that of Duck Sports Authority and do not reflect the opinions or thoughts of the Oregon coaching staff

This week, we take a look at the top trio of linebackers. There is some need at the position with both Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso graduating after this season. Will any of the top trio be Ducks? Only time will tell.

Oregon has offered several linebackers. Today we look at two of those offered as well as one player not yet offered, but who has been mentioned by Oregon fans interested in his recruitment.

1 Mike MitchellLB6'4"/216/4.39Plano, TX
WHO: Mitchell is the #3 ranked outside linebacker in the nation and 32nd overall player in the nation. From talent rich Texas, Mitchell is rated as the 5th best player in the state. Blessed with a great frame and very good speed, Mitchell is a ferocious hitter who has the ability to play at several positions at the next level.
SAY WHAT: In August Mitchell spoke of taking one last visit before making his commitment. That visit was supposed to be to Ohio State. Since then, Oregon has re-entered the picture in Mitchell's recruitment. He is considering just two visits during the season and has not yet made any of his five official visits.

"We might take another one to Oregon," Mitchell told Rivals.com in October when referring to November visits. As there is only one game left at home for Oregon, that would be his only chance to visit during the season, otherwise, Oregon will be looking to secure a visit after Mitchell's season is completed.

WHERE: Mitchell does have Oregon in his final five under consideration, but until he makes a visit and sees what the program is about, it is difficult to project him committing to the Ducks. Right now, the best bet for Mitchell's commitment is Texas A&M.

2 Victor EguLB6'3"/217/--Concord, CA
WHO: Egu is a three star prospect ranked as the 43rd best outside linebacker prospect in the nation and the 76th overall player in the state of California. A raw prospect with intriguing play making ability from his linebacker position, Egu also has the kind of frame that can make him versatile on the defensive side of the ball.
SAY WHAT: At this point, Egu has taken just one official visit and that was to Oregon. After his visit, Duck Sports Authority caught up with Victor.

"The whole trip went well really," Egu explained. "I'd say what really stood out to me was the team unity and how together everybody was. That and the facilities really stood out of course."

From the Ducks' perspective it was an especially good weekend for Egu to visit. The nation's No. 43 outside linebacker is considering both Oregon and Washington, so Chip Kelly's staff had to be happy that Egu watched the Ducks handle the Dawgs for the ninth consecutive time.

Egu said he got along well with all of the players as well as the other recruits in attendance, among them were Dontre Wilson, John Ross and Juwaan Williams.

WHERE: Egu has a top three of Oregon, Washington and Notre Dame in no particular order. He is still planning on visiting the other two schools, so it is difficult to say just where he will choose to play. However, given that the Ducks appear to be in his top three, and the fact that he says he was tempted to commit on his visit, Duck Sports Authority has increased the odds of Egu choosing the Ducks to the 25-35% range.

3 Johnny Ragin IIILB6'3"/215/4.59Wilsonville, OR
WHO: Another three star prospect with no Rivals Rankings, Ragin caught everyones attention over the summer with outstanding performances on the camp circuit. Ragin has good size and a great frame. He has worked very hard to become a better player and it has showed during his senior campaign.
SAY WHAT: At this point, Ragin has two Pac-12 offers and several other Division I offers from schools like BYU, Oregon State and Colorado. He has attended several Duck games as an unofficial visitor this season and has even been spotted "hamming it up" with Coach Chip Kelly. HE does not yet have that Oregon offer, though.

It sounds like the Oregon offer is something he is still holding out hope for as he has not yet scheduled any visits to those that have offered. "When a couple other schools come into play or I get more offers then I'll think about taking some officials then," Ragin said two weeks ago.

WHERE: At the moment, Ragin has not scheduled any official visits, though he has been an one unoffical visit to Oregon State and several unoffical visits to Oregon. If the Ducks offer, he seems to be theirs to lose. If not, it might the in-state Rival getting Ragins commitment.


Mike Mitchell has the Ducks in his final five, but has yet to visit and yet to even schedule a visit. It would seem his commitment is a long-shot right now. This is recruiting, though, and things change. If Mitchell schedules an official visit all bets are off as the Texas contingent on the roster may be able to persuade Mitchell to take the leap of faith. Until then, he is anyones guess.

Egu and Ragin, on the other hand, could both end up as Ducks. IT seems as if maybe the Ducks are waiting on a decision from a higher ranked prospect before offering Ragin. If that prospect chooses to play elsewhere, Ragin may just get the offer that he seems to covet. With a Duck offer, Ragin would be very tempted to commit quickly. Egu also has a very high likelihood of becoming a Duck. Stay tuned to Duck Sports Authority to check on the recruitment of all three of these outstanding linebackers and young men.

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