Recruiting Climaxes with NLI Day

After months of phone calls, visits, email and text messages the recruiting process for the 2006 will reach its climax on Wednesday, February 1st, the first day a national letter of intent (NLI) can be sent to an institution. High school and junior college athletes can fax their letter of intent (LOI) starting tomorrow morning to the program they have selected to play football for and the university they will attend.

This year the Oregon Ducks sought to replace 13 graduating seniors plus a number of other losses due to injury, grade problems or players deciding to transfer to other programs. Historically, Oregon's head coach Mike Bellotti has been reluctant to disclose the exact number of scholarships the Ducks may offer in a year, but based upon the number of vacancies and the number of scholarship players currently on roster, it is believed around 20 scholarships will be awarded.

NCAA rules allow a Division I program to carry 85 scholarship players on rosters and each program can award up to 25 scholarships per year. Bellotti has continually said that the type of recruits Oregon covets are players that are academically eligible and fill the program's needs and additionally are players that want to be part of the goals Oregon seeks.

Two student-athletes that have been recruited by Oregon have yet to announce a commitment. It is thought that defensive tackle Sione Fua, 6-2, 290, 4.9, Encino (Calif.) Crespi Carmelite HS, and wide receiver Jamere Holland, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft HS have narrowed their choices down and Oregon is one of the finalist in their decision. Fua is deciding between the Ducks, Stanford and BYU while Holland is considering Oregon, USC and Arizona and both may announce their decisions on Wednesday, just prior to faxing their LOI to the program they chose.

So far, the Ducks have received 19 verbal commitments. One player, Fenuki Tupou, 6-6, 325, from Sierra Junior College has already enrolled in the University according to a search of the on-line student directory, as he was an eligible mid-season transfer. The University has made it a policy to not reveal the names of mid-season transfers until all the names of the 2006 class are announced on Feb. 1st. Another player, Jurrey Casey that Scout.com reports as having given a verbal commitment to the Ducks currently faces criminal charges in California. His status is presently unknown and it is unlikely that a letter of intent will be sent to Oregon.

On Wednesday, Coach Bellotti will hold a media conference in Eugene to formally announce those players that have sent letters of intent to Oregon. The University has in the past posted the names of the recruits on its official athletic department web site that have made commitments as soon as the letters of intent are received.

The media conference will commence no earlier than 1 p.m.

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