How Good Can This Secondary Class Get? -
The signings were big for Oregon in multiple ways, but we'll start with Ihenacho. The Ducks added to what is becoming a star-studded defensive back class that includes junior college transfer Dominique Harrison and San Antonio (Tex.) cornerback Arrion Springs.
Scout.com analyst Greg Biggins wrote his analysis of what Oregon is getting in the 6-foot, 180-pound Ihenacho, whose brother Duke has helped the Denver Broncos to a 9-1 record entering Sunday.
Oregon has other offers out for Bellevue (Wash.) safety Budda Baker, River Ridge (La.) CB Mattrell McGraw, and Ihenacho's teammate and fellow DB Adoree' Jackson, just to name a few. At this pace, if everything holds, Oregon will have an opportunity to put together one of the more talented defensive back classes it has had in recent memory.
Of those mentioned, only Baker has officially visited, but put Oregon at the top of his list. McGraw has had Oregon is his top three for a while now and will be visiting in December, while Jackson still hasn't set up a visit date.
Beefing Up The O-Line -
Eggert's flip from Washington State gives the Ducks their second 300-pounder on the offensive line for this class, joining Henderson (Nev.) tackle Tyrell Crosby. The Ducks haven't had two 300-pound offensive linemen in the same class since 2005 according to the Scout.com database.
As Erik Skopil and I discussed onlast Wednesday's edition of the eDuck Podcast, Eggert's commitment could be a sign that Oregon is shifting towards bigger athletes on the line to help complement the speed dynamic that the Ducks present at every other position group offensively. In both of the Ducks losses this season, they've lost the line battle to hungrier and, in Stanford's case, bigger teams.
In looking at the last three recruiting classes, the Ducks have drifted toward smaller lineman to fit their speed scheme, the biggest of which was JC transfer Kyle Long (290-pounds), now playing in the NFL. The rest of the linemen averaged less than 270-pounds coming in.
If there has been one major critique of the Ducks inability to get to and win a national title, it's that their speed can't overcome teams that slow the game down by winning at the line. In their last two losses to Stanford, the Ducks offensive line struggled and the offense never found a consistent rhythm.
The result was the Cardinal uncharacteristically out-gaining the Ducks in total yards and winning both games. Bigger bodies like Eggert and Crosby can help change this.
The Ducks also have offers out to Chandler (Ariz.) OT Casey Tucker (290), Los Angeles (Calif.) OT Chris Brown (290) and Gilbert (Ariz.) OT Quinn Bailey (285), signaling that Oregon is putting more importance in gaining more of an advantage up front.
Regular season verbal commits -
One final thing to take away from this week of recruiting is the relative lack of trouble Oregon is having compared to last season. There have been bumps in the road (linebackers), but this season has gone smoother on the recruiting front in general, especially when it comes to getting verbal commitments from recruits during the regular season.
The Ducks had three verbal commitments during last football season, though twins Tyree and Tyrell Robinson became soft commits once Chip Kelly departed as head coach, leaving center Doug Brenner as the only solid verbal commit during a three-month span.
Oregon hit its stride under Mark Helfrich in January, making a furious push toward signing day to accumulate a class of 20 athletes, but only had nine verbal commits (including Dontre Wilson, who flipped to Ohio State) throughout the season due to the uncertainty of Kelly's status and the NCAA investigation into the Ducks recruiting practices.
This season, Oregon has five in-season verbal commitments already with one week left in the regular season. Next week, the Ducks are slated to host TCU verbal commit Jimmie Swain, a linebacker, and will be looking to close strong before dead period arrives in December.