Recruiting: Signing Day is inching closer

The end of dead period is upon us. With three weeks to go until National Signing Day, who does Oregon have tabbed to finish out its class?

And down the stretch they come… Indeed, we have reached football nirvana for recruiting addicts. Dead period ends at tonight, which means tomorrow begins a three week frantic stretch run before National Signing Day on Feb. 5.

For the coaches, it means a lot of traveling and giving pitches. For uncommitted players, it's about weighing the options and picking the best place to spend their college careers.

In Oregon's case, there isn't much left to do. With 17 players verbally committed they can only take a maximum of six more, and they may not even take that many. The Ducks enjoyed a successful dead period, snagging two studs in Bellevue (Wash.) ATH Budda Baker and Olathe (Kan.) linebacker Jimmie Swain, giving them a little added momentum for the final push.

Even better for Oregon is that they've retained two big names on the coaching staff in Don Pellum and John Neal. Pellum, the Ducks recruiting coordinator, was officially promoted to defensive coordinator on Tuesday, replacing Nick Aliotti. More good news came Wednesday when Neal, the Ducks secondary coach, confirmed that he would not be interviewing for the Alabama-Birmingham head coaching position, opting to stay in Eugene.

With the coaching staff secure, that means its less likely to see a player decommit. That leaves the final three weeks as the last piece of business before attention shifts to Spring ball. Here's who the Ducks are bringing in over the stretch run.

The Ducks will be bringing in three defensive tackles for visits. Originally, San Antonio (Tex.) defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao was scheduled to visit this weekend, but has instead opted to unofficially visit LSU according to a Tiger Sports Digest report. Lealaimatafao will reportedly visit before Signing Day. The U.S. Army All-American is reportedly very interested in Oregon, but his last minute swerve regarding his travel plans may give some fans pause. However, if Oregon is his last visit, it could give them an edge in that they would be the last team to get a chance at impressing him. He was previously committed to Texas.

In the meantime, Oregon is scheduled to host Semper Fi All-American Poona Ford the following weekend. Ford, a former Louisville commit, is listed as the 24th ranked defensive tackle in the country by Scout. He will visit Texas before coming to Eugene, and will then take a trip to Missouri on the final weekend before Signing Day.

In addition to Ford, the Ducks are slated to host three more athletes along with Ford during the weekend of the 24th. Junior College wide receiver Eric Lauderdale will be in town following his visit to Arizona State. The four-star athlete said around Christmas that he hopes to have a decision shortly after his Oregon visit.

Lauderdale will be joined by former Boise State safety commit Khalil Oliver and Florida ATH Charles Nelson. Nelson, a 5-foot-9 speedster with a reported 4.35 40-yard dash time, will be busy down the stretch, visiting USC and Oregon on consecutive weekends before squeezing in visits to Florida and West Virginia the following week.

Oliver, who told Brandon Huffman that he had decommitted from Boise State earlier this week, will reconnect with former Broncos head coach Chris Petersen in Seattle this weekend before traveling to Eugene. He's also still considering Boise State, making it a three horse race down the stretch.

According to Greg Biggins, the Ducks are also trying to bring in Roseville (Calif.) offensive lineman Kolton Miller for a visit on the 24th. The 6-foot-8, 305-pound big man is in line to visit UCLA this weekend, and has already visited Wisconsin and Oregon State.

The last weekend before Signing Day will see the Ducks bring in defensive tackle Courtney Garnett out of New Orleans (La.) according to Inside Tennessee's Riley Blevins. Garnett will visit Oklahoma this weekend and Tennessee the following weekend before his Oregon official.

Check in regularly with through Signing Day for more updates.

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