Sports Desk: National Signing Day First Showcase for New Coaching Regime

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The Oregon Ducks football program has furthered its tradition of hiring from within through the promotions of Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost as head coach and offensive coordinator respectively. Helfirch, the previous offensive coordinator, and Frost, the previous wide receiver coach, will have their first real test of measurement on Wednesday February 6th on National Signing Day.

NSD, as some college football fans and analysts will tell you, is when championships are decided. One look at the success that Alabama has had over the past half-decade shows just how important landing that talent actually is.

The Ducks sit with 17 commits right now (12 offense, 4 defense, 1 ST) and the No. 15 recruiting class according to Scout. Oregon has landed four players since the announcement of Helfrich as head coach. Those four include Devon Allen, Elijah George, Juwaan Williams and Damion Hobbs. It makes sense that the first commit was a 4-star WR.

But as is always the cases with college recruiting, nothing is finalized until that official paper is signed. Helfrich, Frost and the rest of the Oregon coaching staff still have their work cut out for them. Oregon still has a number of key prospects to either lock up or make one final push on in the final week.

Oregon’s Top Recruits to Watch on Signing Day:

Thomas Tyner – RB

(Aloha HS)
Beaverton, OR
5-starimages

Tyner, considered by many analysts as the No. 1 running back in the country, is the Ducks’ most important prospect. With the departure of running back Kenjon Barner to the NFL, Oregon is in strong demand for a feature back to take his place.

It’s safe to say that Byron Marshall and De’Anthony Thomas will share the load of reps in the backfield should Tyner not sign with the Ducks. Should Tyner sign, there is a strong possibility he starts opening week for the Ducks. Tyner’s strongest outing was a 643-yard 10 TD performance for Aloha this past season.

Tyner committed the Ducks then de-committed during the season. After a day of thinking it over, he re-committed to the program. Oregon is still the frontrunner for Tyner’s talents, but Cal and Washington could still make a move for his talents.

Oregon’s Chances: 90%

images-1Dontre Wilson – RB

(De Soto HS)
Desoto, TX
4-star

Wilson is another great running back prospect for the Ducks. Throughout Oregon’s run – yes, pun intended – to success, the team has featured a tandem of dominant running backs.

There was the tandem of LaMichael James and Barner from ’09-11, then Barner and Thomas in 2012. Next season is likely to be the Tyner and Thomas tandem. Wilson would likely redshirt next season before joining Tyner as the workhorses for the Ducks.

With Chip Kelly‘s departure to the NFL and Tyner’s likely commitment to the program, it’s questionable if Wilson will want to ride the bench for a few seasons. Wilson’s position would be similar to former Duck back Dontae Williams who transferred after redshirting with former Duck Lache Seastrunk. Also in competition for Wilson’s talents are the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Oregon’s Chances: 65%

images-2Tyree and Tyrell Robinson – WR/OLB

(Lincoln Senior HS)
San Diego, CA
4-stars

The two Robinson twins are being suited by two different UO teams. Both of these athletes are looking to be two-sport athletes on the football and basketball teams.

There were some questions to whether or not the Robinson twins would keep their verbal commitments after Kelly’s departure. Helfrich and the remaining coaching staff visited these two southern California stars at their home to keep them.

In competition for these two athletes are USC and Notre Dame. Watch careful and follow EDN sports for complete coverage.

Oregon’s Chances: 70%

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