Dead period has arrived, meaning that visits and in-person contact stops until after the new year between players and coaches. Normally, this signals somewhat of a slow down period as high school prospects enjoy the holidays and coaches prepare for bowl games. For Oregon, that won’t seem to matter.
Oregon strolled into the dead period on a roll, scoring four commitments on the offensive side of the ball. That brings the total number of commitments to 20 for the 2016 class. Probably the most important commitment was another graduate transfer quarterback, Dakota Prukop from Montana State.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect took weekend visits to Oregon and Alabama before it was reported by Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman that he will play his last season in Eugene on Tuesday. Prukop will follow in the footsteps of current Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams, who transferred in from Easter Washington during fall camp and led the Ducks to a 9-3 regular season record despite an injury riddled year that saw him miss time in September and October. Adams will play his final game on Jan. 2 in the Alamo Bowl against TCU.
Prukop’s arrival is a positive sign for the Ducks, who, like last season after Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota left, face questions as to who would play quarterback next season.
Backups Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie were both largely uninspiring during their appearances in 2015, redshirt freshman Morgan Mahalak never saw the field, and true freshman Travis Jonsen had season ending surgery and redshirted, making it unsurprising the Ducks would try the transfer route again as they continue to develop their underclassmen for the future.
On film, Prukop can sling it around the field and has a good deep ball, similar to Adams. While he doesn’t have Adams elusiveness, he is mobile and can use his feet to keep plays alive. This season, he completed nearly 63 percent of his passes for 3,025 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for 797 yards and 11 more touchdowns.
The Ducks also scored commitments from a couple of skill players in Eddie McDoom and Tristen Wallace. McDoom is an explosive wide receiver from Florida while Wallace is a do-it-all playmaker from Texas that flipped from Ohio State. Wallace is ranked as the top athlete in Texas, bringing a lot to the table with his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame. McDoom is a little smaller at 6-foot, 170-pounds but is a tough prospect to bring down on film.
Finally, the Ducks also added some size up front with a commitment from Nevada prospect Sam Poutasi, who committed shortly after receiving his offer on Friday evening. Poutasi stands 6-foot-3.5, 310-pounds and is a bruiser up front on film who appears light on his feet. Scout.com's Jason Jewell confirmed as much in an analysis of Poutasi’s play, painting him as a player with plenty of upside. He also has good genes as his brother currently plays in the NFL with Mariota in Tennessee.
With 20 players, the Ducks are looking at an easy January. Currently, the class sits as the second best in the Pac-12, just behind Stanford and as the 11th best in the country. They’ll have a run at some of the top uncommitted prospects left on the board, but largely this class has a little bit of everything Oregon was looking for at the start of the cycle. Anything else will be icing on top of the cake.