Finley talks Oregon

In this case, molt is thicker than blood. Compton (Calif.) College WR James Finley will sign a letter of intent with Oregon Wednesday after some serious discussions with UTEP and even an official visit there this weekend. This whole time Finley was leaning heavily toward Eugene, and Tuesday night was the night he confirmed his plans.

"I'm signing with Oregon," Finley told Tuesday night. "Coach (Bellotti) has wanted me since high school. I was supposed to be a Duck. Coach (Mike) Price, I really respect him, he's doing a great job. But Oregon or UTEP? I had to go to Oregon."

"Coach (Bellotti) called me and told me that the offensive coordinator left for Utah, so now they are going to have to learn at the same level as me, so that's one thing. And maybe Coach Bellotti might be the offensive coordinator. But I was going to go anyways because of Coach. He's really a player's coach and he believes in me. He could have turned his back on me, but they offered me in February of '04, even before I had played my sophomore season. When I went on my trip, he was a hands-on guy. He told me to come here, lift, do what you've got to do to get ready and you'll play."

Finley visited UTEP with two other Compton receivers - Arthur Giddens. Both Sutton and Giddens are set to sign with the Miners on Wednesday. "Dave is a raw talent," Finley said of Sutton. "He could be one of the number-one receivers in the country in a couple years or even one of the number-one receivers in the draft. At 6-7 with speed? He's a beast. If he gets his stuff together, he'll play on Sundays."

And Giddens? Here's where the family tug made James' decision a little tougher than he wanted it to be. "It was hard telling Arthur, because he's my cousin," Finley said. "It was hard telling him. We play them the first game next year, so we'll be playing against each other.

"I felt that, deep down inside, Oregon was the place for me. I love David, I love Arthur, that's my family. But I had to make the best decision for myself. It was the right opportunity. I felt Oregon was better, so that's why I chose Oregon."

Finley will arrive in Eugene January 2nd with school starting the third.

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