Mike Bellotti has built the Oregon football program up by focusing on regional recruiting, but this year he may go "national". Florida's Ryan Gilliam, who reportedly has 50 scholarship offers, could be that breakout player.
For the class of 2003, there is no greater recruiting need for Oregon
than at the cornerback position and there may be no better player interested in the Ducks than Ryan Gilliam
. TheInsiders.com network gives Gilliam four stars and ranks the 5-10, 170, 4.4 speedster from Tallahassee's Lincoln High School as the No. 9 cornerback in the country. In Saturday's (January 4) Cal-Florida All-Star game, the other sunshine state sent what was regarded as the most talented Florida squad in years. Gilliam is so good that he played both cornerback and wide receiver - the Florida coaches wanted Gilliam on the field.
Ryan is described as competitive, physical, a natural leader and of course very fast. Most recruiting experts have already penciled him as a Florida State Seminole, but after his December recruiting visit to Oregon Gilliam told Jamie Newberg of TheInsiders.com, "Visiting Oregon was the best and I mean the best experience of my life."
Nevertheless, Ryan will take his last official visit to Florida State on January 31st and most still believe he will commit during the trip, but yesterday Gilliam said, "I just might surprise some people."
There is hope Duck fans.