Football Recruiting Weekend Preview

National Signing Day is less than two weeks away and several teams are scrambling to find the final pieces to the recruiting puzzle before Feb. 5. Standing at 16 verbal commitments with less than two weeks until National Signing Day, Oregon is one of those teams. With up to eight possible spots remaining, it's safe to say the coaches have their work cut out for them if they want to finish strong.

They'll start work this weekend on three talented prospects, each recruited at different positions.

The big name coming in this weekend is U.S. Army All-American defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao. The three-star San Antonio (Tex.) prospect is considering Oregon along with LSU and UCLA. After unofficially visiting Baton Rouge last week, Lealaimatafao told Tiger Sports Digest that he was a top priority to the LSU coaching staff following a one-on-one tour with head coach Les Miles.

In desperate need of size on the defensive line, Lealaimatafao will also be a top priority for the Ducks. His 6-foot-1, 290-pound frame coupled with his explosive ability is exactly what Oregon is missing up front in this class, and what they'll need more of going forward against opposing teams with bigger linemen.

The former Texas commit has had two in-home visits with the Oregon coaching staff as evidenced by his Twitter account, and both seemingly were successful. The benefit for Oregon is that they will be Lealaimatafao's final official visit before he decides on Signing Day, but expect LSU to make this a fight to the finish.

Meridian (Idaho) safety Khalil Oliver has Oregon in his top three along with Washington and Boise State. He'll get his chance to see what the Ducks have to offer this weekend, coming on the heels of his official visit to Washington last weekend.

Oliver stands 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and could play in the secondary or grow into a linebacker role in college. He was a former Boise State verbal commit, but that changed when Chris Petersen left for Washington along with the man who recruited him, defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake.

Despite a late offer, Oliver is highly considering Oregon, and even had an in-home visit with the defensive staff and head coach Mark Helfrich last Sunday night. He told eDuck this week that the visit went well and that he was establishing a bond with Oregon secondary coach John Neal, who has already managed to reel in an impressive class of DB's this season.

The Ducks look to be taking at least one more defensive back in this class and they've paying close attention to Oliver and Louisiana cornerback Mattrell McGraw, who will announce his decision between Texas A&M and Oregon on Feb. 5.

Oliver mentioned that he doesn't have a leader among the three schools, but given his long association with the current Washington coaching staff, the Ducks will have to wow him in order to close the deal.

Florida speedster Charles Nelson rounds out the visitor list for this weekend. Though small in stature at 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, he runs a reported 4.35 40-yard dash time. Given that De'Anthony Thomas has declared for the NFL Draft and will not return for his senior season, the Ducks would love to have another slot receiver drawn from a similar mold.

Earlier this week, Nelson told eDuck that he was already familiar with the Oregon offensive scheme, having run a similar style in high school, and thought he could open things up with his speed. But, they'll have to contend with USC, Notre Dame and West Virginia to land him.

Nelson visited with offensive coordinator Scott Frost on Thursday and will host him, receivers coach Matt Lubick and head coach Mark Helfrich next week for an in-home visit after his official. This gives the Oregon coaching staff ample opportunity to woo Nelson before his final visit to West Virginia next weekend.

Nelson told eDuck this week that he wants to play early and, in watching his highlight tape, his style of play fits in great with Oregon scheme. The Ducks have had no problem giving opportunities to freshmen in the past that have earned their reps, so a successful visit could go a long way with Nelson heading into the last week of the recruiting period.


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