Oregon Recruiting Wrap: Moves, countermoves and amazing athletic feats
It's just three weeks until Early Signing Day, and already there are 13 FBS programs looking for a new head coach.
That creates a lot of movement and maneuvering on the recruiting trail.
The Gators fired Dan Mullen after a weekend loss to Missouri in overtime, despite a .694 record since taking over from Jim McEIwain.
That led to the decommitment of speedy slot receiver Isaiah Bond, who quickly picked up an Oregon offer.
Alabama's making a strong pitch for the Buford, Georgia product, who has serious track speed, turning in a 10.48 100 and a 21.05 200 this spring.
That's "faster than DeAnthony Thomas" fast.
He's getting strong interest from SEC schools, but if anyone can convince him to give Oregon a serious look, it's Bryan McClendon.
The Ducks have openings at wide receiver after losing two commitments and having Mycah Pittman enter the transfer portal.
At LSU, Ed Orgeron is out at the end of the year just two seasons removed from winning a national championship. That has 2021 commit Eli Ricks reconsidering his future. He's entered the transfer portal,
Ricks is the number one cover corner in the portal. The Ducks haven't made many dives into that pool but this IMG alum could be a potential difference maker in a secondary that lost four to the NFL draft after last season and has struggled at times this year after a nasty rash of injuries.
The Ducks at least have to make a pitch, though Ohio State, Alabama and USC will all compete for him. Mike Farrell of Rivals says he's a cinch for tOSU.
Another top cornerback prospect is Domani Jackson, recently decommitted from USC after all the upheaval there.
The Trojans are intent on landing a big name at coach, but one by one the top candidates are electing to stay put, leveraging the overtures into lucrative long-term contracts at their current schools. Luke Fickell is staying at Cincinnati. Mel Tucker just signed a 10-year, $95-million deal to remain at Michigan State. Dave Aranda's heavily sought after by a number of programs, but he just told Fox college football analyst Joel Klatt, "I love it here and this is where I want to be." Louisiana coach Billy Napier is the top choice to land at either LSU or with the Gators.
Openings at LSU, Florida, and USC leave Washington further down the pecking order for potential new coaches. Brian Harsin told them he wants to remain at Auburn. Matt Campbell's style and values are perfect for his current job at Iowa State.
Every move, countermove and maneuver brings schools closer to not only signing day but brings fresh urgency to the need to lock up Mario Cristobal with a longer term, market-rate deal. His current deal pays him $4.75 million a year and runs through 2027 after an automatic extension for reaching nine wins.
Another big transfer portal prize is Houston, Texas cornerback Marcus Banks, who left Alabama this November.
With SC struggling to find a coach with a sledgehammer big enough to start their extreme makeover, 4-star Corner Canyon quarterback Devin Brown is back on the market.
He's a high school teammate of Ducks Jackson Powers-Johnson and Harrison Taggart, the Utah state record holder for passing.
Winning the recruiting war is not just the rankings and measurements, but how a player continues to develop after he commits. Check out Oregon linebacker commit TJ Dudley, just completing his senior year.
Dudley has gone well over 100 tackles in each of his three seasons starting at Montgomery Catholic, and his physical development is eye-popping. He already looks like a college linebacker.
Also a basketball player, the 6-3, 222 linebacker has exceptional athletic ability. He's number six in the clip below, doing a back flip in pads.
He committed back in June, saying the Ducks were his favorite team growing up.
De'Anthony Thomas, he says, is the reason he wears number six.