Oregon redshirt freshman wide reciever Tacoi Sumler has left the football team at the University of Oregon and will transfer, according to Oregon Football Sports Information Director Andy McNamara. Sumler was one of the Ducks’ prized recruits from the class of 2011.
The 5’8” receiver out of Miami, Florida was a 4-star recruit and appeared to be set to make a splash on the field for the Ducks this season. Sumler attended Christopher Columbus High School where, as a junior, he caught 54 passes for 994 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Below is the tweet from McNamara’s Twitter account breaking the news.
— Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) August 8, 2012
When the Ducks signed Sumler, he was regarded as one of the fastest receivers in the country, a perfect fit for the high-octane Oregon offense. Sumler was one of three wide receivers brought on from the class of 2011. The other two, B.J. Kelley and Devon Blackmon, still remain with the team.
After redshirting his freshman season to maintain eligibility, many thought Sumler would be a good candidate to line up opposite Josh Huff along the sidelines due to his speed. Rivals deemed his elite-level speed “as good as it gets.”
At a Nike SPARQ over a summer, he was clocked in the 40 at 4.24. That kind of speed seemed to be a perfect fit for the Oregon football program, which has become known for speed and agility rather than size and power.
One possible option for Sumler’s presence on the field included special teams, but that was before De’Anthony Thomas solidified his own role as a special teams weapon during his true freshman season in 2011. Sumler might be looking into a school where he can make more of an impact on special teams since his small size could prove troublesome for a starting receiver job.
Last season, Sumler worked as a member of the scout team. In Oregon’s annual spring game back in April, Sumler had three receptions for 15 yards. After the departure of top receiver Lavasier Tuinei, Sumler looked poised to get plenty of opportunities at receiver for the Ducks as Josh Huff was the only returning receiver.
Sumler participated in the first two days of fall camp, which could lead some to believe that something went wrong during one of the practices that caused him to transfer. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has yet to speak to the media about Sumler’s decision to transfer, and there has been no indication yet on where Sumler will look to transfer.
Based on his size and speed, it would make sense for Sumler to find a program similar to Oregon’s where size is not an issue. Sumler weighs in at just 150 pounds, so it is highly unlikely he will head to a power-type conference where he could be roughed around.
Stay tuned to Eugene Daily News and Oregon Beat Writer Sean Larson as the situation unfolds, including up-to-the minute coverage on Twitter with any further reports on Sumler’s transfer.