Oshay Dunmore

Oregon Football Recruiting Analysis: Spring Cleaning

The off season for the Oregon Ducks football team has proven to be a little hectic, causing some fans to wonder what will happen to their favored program. With the unusual amount of transfers and departures in the off season, there are going to be questions about the depth of talent and concerns with the coaches retaining the scholarship players. I’m here to tell you to not worry. There’s no need for that fifth cup of coffee before 8:00 a.m., while stressing about Oregon’s future. We fans will not see a sudden jump off the elite cliff into abysmal mediocrity. The coaching staff is just doing a little spring cleaning, and the game is set to get even better.

Don't lose faith in Coach Helfrich who may prove to be a better recruiter than his predecessor

Don’t lose faith in Coach Helfrich, who may prove to be an even better recruiter than his predecessor.

Some of what the Ducks are going through can be compared to a car wash. Why? In your average car wash, hose growling vacuums suck up everything that’s left in cracks and crevices of each forgotten corner of the interior of cars. From Tic-Tacs to trash. From pet hair to pebbles. But despite the mess there is a reward — money in the vacuums. It might be amazing how much change you could find that seemed to be someone else’s overlooked waste. Some might see the cleanup as discouraging, but look closer, and it’s a potential wealth that will pay dividends after time.

As I look at the current offensive line recruits for the class of 2015, I see Coach Steve Greatwood looking at some lesser known players in the grand schematic. The likes of Alabama, LSU or Ohio State would envision the contents as less desirable. Particularly, Alabama prefers to recruit kids that don’t need much coaching because they are nearly NFL-ready coming out of high school.

Oregon sees the players in a different light by seeking the “treasures” that others overlook. Coach Greatwood has a knack for finding the players with lots of potential because he is confident in his coaching abilities. Oregon is actually great at “coaching up” players to grow into really good talent at several OL positions.

The offensive line has some good depth, so you may be wondering why we have five commitments already and potentially one or two more willing to play for the Ducks. Only one, Zach Okun, is a gold tier athlete that has all three major recruiting sites ranking him as a four-star offensive guard. He has the size already in high school, so earns that fourth star.

The other linemen may have the necessary skills – being the best lineman on their designated schools – but haven’t reached that size or weight that may push them into the gold tier level. Shane Lemieux is a silver tier lineman, with Rivals.com giving him the only four star. Calvin Throckmorton and Jake Hanson are solid bronze athletes with three stars across the board. Then Brady Aiello is bronze, too, but has two stars with Scout.com. I’ll be the first to say that it would be great to get those platinum-tier offensive linemen to come to Eugene to bust holes for the speedy weapons the Ducks have, but these commitments so far are guys that are true and are hungry to work hard for the team. The fans don’t need to worry about selfish prima donnas with these young men.

One of the recent commits for Oregon. Travis Waller is a top 10 quarterback

One of the recent commits for Oregon, Travis Waller, is a Top-10 quarterback.

After Tuesday, Oregon now has 11 commitments for the class of 2015, and the question of how many scholarships Oregon will use for this recruiting cycle has popped up several times on Duck Territory. Where do the Ducks go to fill the rest of the scholarship openings that have been vacated by the recent departures of Jake Rodrigues, Damion Hobbs, Tyrell Robinson, Eric Amoako and Oshay Dunmore? This currently leaves Oregon with 68 scholarship players that will be eligible to play in the 2015 season. The Ducks are capped at 84 total scholarships due to NCAA sanctions to give them 16 available scholarships to work with for the 2015 recruiting class.

Having 11 commitments and 16 slots available for scholarships doesn’t mean Oregon will recruit only five more athletes for the 2015 class. With the blurry law of attrition that is so unpredictable, several more players may not be around next year at this time, which would allow the Ducks to sign a few more recruits in February. This could be a signing class total of roughly 20 guys. The current commitments on offense form a solid foundation and Oregon may take another quarterback and receiver, but it’s the defense that has ground to make up. Two defensive backs have committed thus far, and depending on which defensive guys the Ducks pick up, Oregon could end up with a Top 10 recruiting class.

Don Pellum looks to finish the 2015 recruiting cycle strong

Don Pellum looks to finish the 2015 recruiting cycle strong.

I imagine that the new defensive coordinator, Don Pellum, would like to start his first full recruiting cycle with a spark by signing some high-profile blue chippers with the likes of Byron Cowart from Florida. Adding Cowart could start a recruiting upheaval that would disrupt the Southeastern Conference’s recruiting dominance in the South. He is that talented and would be able to start very quickly in Eugene (if playing time is a factor for this beast).

Similar to the trending signs all over the internet, I will say to all the Oregon football fans, “Keep calm and watch Oregon upgrade its talent.” Like spring cleaning and giant car wash vacuums, cleaning up the ranks will bring potential “treasures” and make things look even better.

Top photo by Andrew Shurtleff



No Need to Panic: Ducks Will be Just Fine Without Recent Departures

The Oregon Ducks saw two more players leave the team earlier this week when it was confirmed that linebackers Oshay Dunmore and Tyrell Robinson were leaving the program as a result of undisclosed violations of team rules. Their departure brings the number of players who have left this spring to a total of eight, as they join quarterbacks Jake Rodrigues and Damion Hobbs, receiver Eric Dungy, defensive back Eric Amoako, linebacker Brett Bafaro and punter Dylan Ausherman.

Like Dunmore, Robinson's departure was not his decision.

Like Dunmore, Robinson’s departure was not his decision.

In seasons past, the Ducks more than likely would’ve been concerned with so many players leaving the team all at the same time. Since the Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich eras of Ducks football however, the team has stuck to its “next man up” approach and experienced a huge improvement in depth as a result. This latest transfer news won’t change any of that.

You may not recognize the names of all the players who left the team this spring, several of them — particularly Dunmore and Robinson – had good chances to earn playing time in the upcoming year. They were considered young players on the rise who would work their way into the Ducks’ constantly rotating defense at Outside and Inside Linebacker. Their losses will thin the rotation slightly, but the linebacking core of Derrick Malone, Torrodney Prevot and Rodney Hardrick will stay intact.

Unable to win the backup quarterback job, Jake Rodrigues transferred to San Diego State

Unable to win the backup quarterback job, Jake Rodrigues transferred to San Diego State

Although these eight players left the program within a three month period, their departures aren’t all for the same reason. Head coach Mark Helfrich said “every story is its own” and that is certainly the case.

Rodrigues and Hobbs chose to transfer to San Diego State and Utah State respectively as neither was able to separate themselves as the clear-cut second string quarterback to Marcus Mariota. Similarly, Dungy was never able to get much playing time at receiver, instead seeing the field only on special teams. He will reportedly transfer to South Florida. Ausherman was unable to win the backup punter job and is now focused on pursuing a career as a firefighter.

The common theme among these transfers is their dissatisfaction with playing time during their Oregon careers. That’s exactly why the Ducks shouldn’t be too concerned; their depth at these key positions is what forced these players to leave, which attests to just how deep this Oregon team really is.

The only potential issue with losing eight players in a relatively short period of time is a shortage of players on the Ducks roster. However, the Ducks now have more flexibility and could possibly add a few more transfer players prior to the first game.

Regardless of what the Ducks decide to do with these vacancies, fans need not worry. The takeaway should be a positive one, because it shows that position battles between players are just as competitive and highly contested as they have been in past memory. These departures suggest that the skill level of individual Ducks players are higher than average and the transferring players believe they can find more playing time elsewhere. For the team as a whole, this is not a bad position to be in at all.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

Yadie Dunmore Shines for Irish, Returns 71-Yard Punt for Touchdown

Yadie Dunmore
Yadie Dunmore (right) | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

The obvious storyline in the Sheldon Irish’s 49-14 blowout over South Medford was star running back/wide receiver Yadie Dunmore. The younger brother of current Duck Oshay Dunmore rushed for 138 yards and amassed over 300 total yards. But the highlight of the night came on a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown.

“It was really good, I think our team really needed it,” Dunmore said about the return. “Last week’s over, but mostly to prove to ourselves that we could still play like Irish.”

And also impressed was Sheldon head coach Lane Johnson.

“We don’t have many breakaway threats and he’s definitely a breakaway threat. He’s a special kid when he runs like that. Tonight he was awesome,” Johnson said.

“We spend a ton of time on special teams, it’s just kids working together. We play our best players all the time.”

Dunmore and his Irish will travel to Central Point for a league matchup on Friday with the hopes of righting the season and defending their OSAA 6A state title.

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#31 – Oshay Dunmore


Oregon Ducks defensive back Oshay Dunmore, a redshirt freshman from Newport High School (Newport, Oregon), enters his second season in the Oregon program.

Before joining the Ducks, Dunmore was a two-way star playing both quarterback and defensive back. Dunmore was the definition of a dual-threat quarterback passing for 832 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for a seemingly insurmountable 2,152 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior. Dunmore was honored as first-team All-State defensive back and second-team All-State quarterback. As a senior he passed for 790 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 2,134 yards and 25 touchdowns. Defensively he racked up 79 tackles, two interceptions and two blocked field goals. Dunmore received offensive and defensive player of the year awards for the 4A Oregon West Conference. He was also selected to the 2012 Parade All-America High School Football Team as an all-purpose player.

Along with his accomplishments on the gridiron, Dunmore was also quite successful at basketball and track. He was an accomplished triple jumper, pole vaulter, long jumper and discus thrower.

In 2012, Dunmore spent the season redshirting while a member of the scout team.

Dunmore had a huge performance in the 2013 Oregon Spring Game. Dunmore finished second on the green team with seven tackles (four unassisted, three assisted).

Going into the 2013 season, Dunmore will be in a battle for reserve playing time in a crowded defensive backfield. The Ducks are strong in their four starters of Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Terrance Mitchell, Avery Patterson and Brian Jackson, but also have talented backups behind them.

Dunmore will likely see significant playing time as a reserve, but his most action will come beginning in 2014 when many of the Oregon starters and No. 2s are off on NFL rosters.