With a week off from practice last week, the Oregon coaches hit the road to visit their commits and top targets as they look to solidify their recruiting class with signing day only two months away.
The coaches spread far and wide to cover the recruiting trail. While on the road, they offered a scholarship to a fast-rising 2013 LB recruit.
The Ducks seem to have moved on from RB Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage), the No. 5 RB in the ESPN 150. They are now focused on Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) and Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) for the final running back spot in their class. Folston -- No.79 in the ESPN 150 -- plays things close to the vest, but it seems like a battle between the only two schools he has officially visited, Oregon and Notre Dame.
Kamara -- No. 37 in the ESPN 150 -- recently added the Ducks to his list of favorites, alongside long-time frontrunners Georgia and Alabama. The Ducks visited Kamara in Georgia last week and are in the process of setting up a visit to Eugene.
Keep an eye on the third running back spot as Kani Benoit (Phoenix, Ariz./Thunderbird) is waiting in the wings. Benoit has picked up offers from UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming, Toledo and others, with Illinois, Oregon and Vanderbilt all lurking. Should the Ducks fail to land either Kamara or Folston, Benoit is likely to receive a late offer from the Ducks to be their third running back in the class.
Ducks' DB coach John Neal offered a new linebacker prospect for the Class of 2013 while taking recruiting trips through the South. LB Zach Cunningham (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley) received an offer from the Ducks after a monster senior season in which he had nearly 200 tackles. His recruitment has taken off, with schools such as Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss, UCLA and Vanderbilt all making a push for the 6-foot-4, 195-pound athlete. Ducks' LB coach Don Pellum will visit Cunningham at home next week to follow up with the fast-rising linebacker.
The Ducks appear to be staying in contention for S Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). The No. 32 player in the ESPN 150 will officially visit USC this weekend after unofficially visiting over the summer. The Trojans feel good about landing McQuay, but Vanderbilt, Oregon, Michigan and Florida State are all very much in the mix.
WR John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) remains the Ducks' best shot at landing a second elite receiver to go along with Darren Carrington Jr. (San Diego, Calif./Horizon). Ross has been quiet on the recruiting front, but it appears Oregon State has joined the race after a strong visit to Corvallis last week. UCLA, Washington and Oregon make up the remainder of his list.
Keep an eye on the coaching turnover at Tennessee as the Ducks recently offered Vols' WR commit Paul Harris (Upper Marlboro, Md./Fredrick Douglas). Harris maintains that he is firm in his commitment to the Vols as long as his recruiter and position coach -- Vols' WR coach Darin Hinshaw -- is retained by the new head coach in Knoxville. Should Hinshaw be let go, the Ducks feel really good about their chances with one of the top wideouts on the eastern seaboard.
The Ducks seem to be in great shape with OL Thomas Oser (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard-Westlake). He has visits to Stanford and Vanderbilt on the horizon but has a great relationship with Ducks' OL coach Steve Greatwood that was only strengthened by their visit last week. Oregon needs to replace fill the hole left when OL Alex Redmond (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos) decommitted. At this point, the odds that Oser will be a member of the Ducks' 2013 recruiting class seem pretty high.