Oregon on its way to another successful class
Oregon added its fifth 2016 commit in the form of four-star wide receiver Theo Howard on Sunday afternoon. The news comes on the heels tight end Cam McCormick’s commitment just over two weeks ago, which was the first pledge to the class since last November. At this time last year, Oregon had one commit in four-star offensive guard Zach Okun. Having five already is a sign that the Ducks are becoming a popular destination for the next generation of athletes, and furthermore, those athletes aren’t willing to wait around in case somebody decides to take their spot. As the class stands now the Ducks have loaded up well in advance with skill position players for the future which was bolstered by Howard’s decision. With him and four-star wide receiver Dillon Mitchell attached to the class, Oregon is looking very deep at wide receiver going forward, and with Howard’s flexibility allowing him to play in the slot or on the outside, the staff can move him around depending on the need at the current moment. Mitchell was pitched as a type of hybrid running back/wide receiver combo when he visited Oregon last year right before his commitment. Mitchell certainly fits the Ducks M.O. of finding skill players that can be spread out in several ways, as has been seen with players like Josh Huff, De’Anthony Thomas, and lately Byron Marshall. McCormick adds size and some speed with great hands, but he is also a tenacious defender on the defensive line for Summit High School in Bend (Ore.). Oregon has a lot of bodies on the depth chart at tight end currently, but most of those players will either be gone or entering their final season of eligibility leaving just him and incoming freshman Jacob Breeland. On top of the pass-catchers attached to the class, four-star quarterback Seth Green and three-star safety Brady Breeze, a Duck legacy, remain solidly committed. While Green is slated join Travis Waller and Morgan Mahalak, two players who hope to take over the coveted QB role in Oregon’s fast-paced offense sooner rather than later, Breeze fills a need for bodies at safety in 2016. Going forward, the focus will likely turn to linebackers, a position that Oregon has struggled to fill numbers wise in the past couple of recruiting classes. 13 linebacker prospects hold offers right now and good news could arrive as soon as later this week when the top middle linebacker in the West region, Lokeni Toailoa, will make his decision. This recruiting class is trending toward being another exciting and deeply talented group of athletes. Adding size to go along with speed and skill they’ve already accumulated is the next step, but the Ducks are certainly well on their way to repeating the success of the 2015 class that landed them a No. 21 ranking.
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