Top to Bottom, Best Ever at Oregon

Eugene, Ore. – Saying "top to bottom this is the best class we've ever got," Mike Bellotti introduced the 2007 Duck recruiting class during a media conference held at the Casanova Center. The class consists of 27 high school student-athletes and two Junior College transfers. An additional scholarship was announced being awarded to a kicker presently on the roster.

"I'm very excited to present the 2007 University of Oregon recruiting class," Bellotti told the assembled media. "I'm very pleased with the efforts of our football program to help get better in recruiting."

Bellotti indicated he had challenged both coaches and current players to go out and get the very best recruits possible and to that end the class shaped up to be the most impressive ever introduced by the head coach. The Ducks met their immediate needs along the defensive line, linebacker and kicker plus added depth at offensive line, receivers, running backs and defensive secondary. While no quarterback was recruited this year, the Ducks do have a number of players that will step in and play.

The two junior college players, wide receiver Terence Scott and defensive lineman Will Tukuafu should have an effect next fall. Scott described by Bellotti as the best wide receiver in the JC ranks is a "nifty" pass-catcher and Tukuafu as a player that can play any position on the defensive line. Tukuafu is already enrolled in school as he signed his letter of intent in December after completing his necessary course work at College of the Canyons.

"Terence Scott is the best JC player I saw on film this year," admitted Bellotti.

One high school athlete will enroll at Oregon in Spring Term announced Bellotti. Wide receiver Drew Davis graduated from Montbello High School in Denver in December and will be available for the spring workouts. Mark Asper, an offensive lineman that returned from a two-year Mormon mission in December also will be on hand for spring ball. Asper originally committed to Oregon in 2004 but spent the last two years in Spain.

While the headman would not specifically point out any individual as being the star of the class, he felt that a number of players have the potential to play and eventually move onto the next level – the NFL. Of course individual progression and health would dictate that. When asked though, Bellotti felt that both of the defensive linemen (Simi Fili and Myles Wade) would see playing time as true freshmen due to the depth issues. Fili is the strongest player to ever come to Oregon, Bellotti revealed. Fili has squatted 720 pounds. Wade, in Bellotti's view is also very strong but quicker.

Bellotti also thought that some of the soon-to-be freshmen linebackers would also be on the field next year. One player Kenny Rowe, who was recruited as a defensive end could see time at linebacker. There are a number of players from this class that are versatile enough to play other spots, but no decision on where a player will end up would be made until after the start of fall camp. The class is so full of talent that it would be fair to say that there were no unknowns.

"The only diamond in the rough is William Wallace," according to Bellotti. "Everybody else is pretty noticeable."

Wallace, an all-CIF Southwest Division (Southern California) came onto the scene fairly late in the recruiting process. He visited Oregon a couple of weeks ago and the coaching staff became intrigued by his skills.

Bellotti also announced that Josh Syria, 6-3, 232, Wenatchee (Wash.) who transferred to Oregon from Wofford College was awarded a scholarship. Syria was on the roster for the 2006 season, but did not participate in any games because of eligibility issues arising from his transfer. Syria played high school ball at Wenatchee High School.

The kicker for the class is Daniel Padilla, 6-1, 210, Corona (Calif.) Corona HS, was coached by former Duck place kicker Nathan Villegas.

One player will have special ties with the Ducks. Wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad, the son of receivers' coach Robin Pflugrad had a face-to-face meeting with Bellotti. In the meeting Bellotti explained to Aaron Pflugrad that playing for his dad could be a difficult experience in many ways but also could be one of the most rewarding. Bellotti mentioned that he had coached his younger brother when he was at Cal-Davis. Bellotti also emphasized to Aaron that he was being recruited as a result of what he had accomplished on the field rather than whom he was related to.

Bellotti said that normally when he visits a prospective student athlete that the parents are in the room, but at Aaron's request Bellotti met solely with the younger Pflugrad. Bellotti said that Aaron had come to the Ducks camp in the summer and was extremely impressive.

There are no further commitments expected and Bellotti felt satisfied that his staff was able to successfully recruit the players that it wanted.

2007 Oregon Recruit List

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