After a solid run of success recruiting in Texas in recent years, can Oregon do it again this year?
The biggest recruiting splash the Ducks have made in the Lone Star State has been at running back. In 2008, it was LaMichael James. In 2010, it was Lache Seastrunk and Dontae Williams. In 2011, the Ducks went back to James' alma mater to sign Tra Carson, who broke all of his predecessor's records in high school.
Seastrunk, Williams and Carson all transferred after just one year at Oregon, but James left a trail for others to follow. And that's exactly what they've done. Last year, the Ducks flipped WR Bralon Addison from Texas A&M on signing day. They also convinced his cousin, WR Chance Allen, to flip from Oklahoma State.
So far in 2013, the Ducks only have one recruit committed from the state of Texas. Of course, if a program could only sign one player from the state, ATH Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) might be the one it would choose. For Oregon, that is exactly why they made him one of their top priorities in the Class of 2013. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Wilson is as close to a LaMichael James clone as you can get.
The thing is, Wilson might be even better in some facets of the game. The No. 52 player in the ESPN 150 has some of the same skills that James, Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas have brought to the Ducks in recent years.
Who else do the Ducks have a shot at from the football-rich state of Texas as signing day approaches?
Unfortunately for Oregon fans, it doesn't seem like there are too many viable options at this point. DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Alief Taylor), a USC commit, and ESPN 150 LB Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood) have both had Oregon among their top schools and have expressed interest in visiting Eugene.
The problem for the Ducks is that Mitchell -- No. 121 in the ESPN 150 -- is announcing his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game between long-time favorite Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oregon. He has visited the other three programs, but not Oregon. He will likely don a Buckeyes hat when he announces on Friday.
Prevot had Oregon on, or even at the top of, his list back in the spring. Once he visited USC for its summer camp, he gave his pledge to Lane Kiffin and the Trojans. Now has an official visit scheduled to Notre Dame on the weekend of Jan. 25. There were rumblings in the fall that Prevot and the Ducks could be working on a last-minute visit to Eugene, but that appears to have just been speculation.
Is anyone else lurking behind the scenes? It's hard to say now, and the Ducks may have to deal with another juggernaut, as Texas A&M has made huge strides in recruiting. But Chip Kelly has built a solid name in Texas and at this time last year, Addison and Allen were names very few Oregon fans knew. The possibilities are endless with the amount of talent in the state, so never say never with the way the Ducks have pulled surprises over the last few years.