There’s still time left before National Signing Day for the 2016 class, but it’s never too early to take a look ahead to 2017.
2017 promises to be a year of intrigue as the Ducks could lose some potentially big names on offense after the 2016 season. Transfer quarterback Dakota Prukop will depart whether he makes an impact or not. Tight ends Evan Baylis, Johnny Mundt and Pharaoh Brown, who’s expected to return next year under medical hardship despite being a senior, are all set to graduate. Offensive guard Cameron Hunt will also depart, as will wide receiver Dwayne Stanford and Bralon Addison. However, Addison could bail early for the NFL following this year’s Alamo Bowl.
Oregon could also suffer two big losses in Royce Freeman and Darren Carrington, both of whom have potential NFL futures and will be eligible to leave. Carrington could actually leave after the Alamo Bowl like Addison, but having only played a season and a half of football in three years after sitting out the first half of the 2015 season, it may benefit the redshirt sophomore to hang around for one more year.
Defensively, the losses will be less so, though linebackers Johnny Ragin and Torrodney Prevot are set to graduate, as is safety Reggie Daniels. As far as early departures, do-it-all safety Charles Nelson will be one to watch.
Currently, Oregon has two players verbally committed to the 2017 class in four-star South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive end Langi Tuifua and four-star Chandler (Ariz.) Basha quarterback Ryan Kelley.
Off to a solid start already, Oregon will be looking to make the impact that they did early on in 2016 when they racked up name after name into the summer.
14 of the Scout 300 already have offers from Oregon. Five-star offensive tackles Austin Jackson and Foster Sarell, who rank 1-2 in the West region at their position, will make Ducks fans excited at the prospect of filling gaps on the offensive line.
At wide receiver, four-star prospect Tyjon Lindsey, the nation’s fourth-ranked wide receiver, was a stud at that same camp and visited Oregon as well. Lindsey would surely be a weapon in the Oregon system, but they’ll have heavy competition.
If not Lindsey, the Ducks have also offered C.J. Cotman out of Florida and he told Corey Bender that he would be a perfect fit in Eugene.
At tight end, Oregon has offered Sacramento (Calif.) prospect Josh Falo. Falo is the second-ranked prospect at his position in the West region and holds offers from most of the Pac-12.
Defensively, the Ducks have eyes on another Sacramento prospect in defensive end D.J. Johnson. Also, Redlands East Valley (Calif.) linebacker Jaelan Phillips has Oregon in has top three and has visited already. The top defensive end in the state also hails from the same high school as current Duck Malik Lovette.
Four-star outside linebacker Juliano Falaniko will surely be a target, having picked up an offer over the spring prior to visiting Oregon for the The Opening regional. The long prospect from American Samoa is humble but surely passes the eye test up close.
At inside linebacker, the Ducks have offered the top prospect in the East region in Avery Roberts, as well as Nate McBride, who’s ranked second in the South region. Both have extensive offer lists already, showing that it will already be a battle, but McBride said Oregon was making a push over the summer in an interview with Chad Simmons.
Of course, the one many will be watching is local safety prospect Elijah Molden. The West Linn prospect, like Lindsey, was an MVP at The Opening regional in Eugene and helped lead his team to the 6A OSAA State Championship game this past season. His father played for Oregon and the Ducks are a major player. Adding another Molden to the mix would be a big land for the Ducks.
If the Ducks can land Molden, pairing him up in the secondary with top West safety Chaz Ah You would make a potential boon for the Ducks in 2017. Ah You visited Oregon earlier this fall.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Plenty more is in store for Oregon entering the next recruiting cycle and expect more names to be added to the list in the coming weeks and months.