Official Visitors for the final weekend

Oregon will host a diverse group of prospects this week, both committed and uncommitted, on the final weekend before National Signing Day. Who will command the spotlight this weekend?

Oregon will be hosting a number of prospects on official visits this weekend, including a possible quarterback transfer, which has drawn quite a bit of excitement from fans with just five days remaining before National Signing Day. Who will the coaches be making a pitch too? Vernon Adams — The spotlight this weekend will center not on a 2015 prospect, but on Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who could be transferring to Oregon if all goes according to plan. The Ducks enter next season with a big question mark at quarterback.

While there are no shortage of options, the desire to acquire Adams from the Eagles — who coincidentally are the Ducks’ first opponents for the 2015 season — sends signals that the staff believes a one-and-done transfer can help bridge the gap between the post-Marcus Mariota era and the future, which could include names such as Morgan Mahalak, Travis Waller or Seth Green.

Adams threw for 3,483 yards and 35 touchdowns in just 10 games last season and finished runner-up for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player at the Football Championship Subdivision level. He is a capable dual-threat quarterback, having run for 890 yards over the past two seasons.

Adams has had a couple of memorable performances against the Pac-12 in the past two seasons, throwing for 475 yards and seven touchdowns in a close loss at Washington last September and accounting for six touchdowns (four pass, two rush) and over 500 yards of total offense (411 pass, 107 rush) in a victory at Oregon State two years ago.

Jonah Moi — Moi received an in-home visit from head coach Mark Helfrich, defensive coordinator Don Pellum and outside linebackers coach Erik Chinander earlier this week, and things went well enough for the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Washington State verbal commit to schedule an official visit for this weekend.

At this point, adding another linebacker would be gravy for the Ducks, who’ve landed Paris Bostick and Leiato in recent weeks. The position was one of concern for months as the Ducks struggled to land prospects at the position, but if the coaching staff can flip Moi, it’ll give them two junior college transfers and a hard hitting high schooler coming in to add depth across the board.

Tyrone Wheatley — Wheatley took an official visit to Michigan this week according to multiple reports, including the Detroit Free Press. Michigan is where his father, former NFL-er Tyrone Sr. is an assistant coach. While his Oregon visit seems to still be in place, Michigan has really ramped up the pressure on Wheatley as of late, and with a revitalized coaching staff and the family connection, it’ll be a tough obstacle to overcome. Can a last impression do it?

Gary Baker — One of two brand new Ducks verbal commits who will be in town this weekend, Baker committed on Tuesday night during an in-home visit with head coach Mark Helfrich, defensive coordinator Don Pellum, outside linebackers coach Erik Chinander and defensive line coach Ron Aiken.

The Upland (Calif.) three-star defensive end is a welcome addition to a defensive line class that has grown significantly since the fall, anchored by five-star defensive end verbal commit Canton Kaumatule. With them, defensive tackles Drayton Carlberg and Rex Manu and defensive end Gus Cumberlander, the Ducks will have plenty of depth following the departures of Arik Armstead and Sam Kamp.

Fotu Leiato — The other brand new verbal commit that will visit is Leiato, who committed on Sunday evening during an in-home visit with Mark Helfrich. Leiato, notoriously private and not one to seek out media attention, was all the media could talk about when his highlight tape went viral and led the Ducks to fully pursue him. The 6-foot, 200-pound safety/linebacker packs a punch with his hits and has gotten fans excited with his full-throttle playing style, which should bode well for his future in a Ducks uniform.


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