Duck hunting: Oregon is winning recruiting battles again

Four-star wide receiver Warren Thompson committed to Oregon on Monday, and with that, the Ducks now have nine four-star recruits on track to join the program in 2018.

If that number sounds like a lot, considering National Signing Day is still more than seven months away, it’s because it is. In fact, the nine four-stars currently pledged to Oregon is one more than the total number the program landed in all of 2017.

Upon taking the head coaching job at Oregon in December, Willie Taggart vowed to make the Pacific Northwest an attractive destination for high school players once again, and so far he’s delivered.

If Thompson’s commitment holds, the Seffner, Fla. native – ranked 196th overall on the ESPN 300 – will become the first four-star wideout to head to the Ducks out of high school since 2015.

4-star recruits committed to Oregon for 2018:

Player Position ESPN 300 ranking
Dawson Jaramillo OT 59th
Steve Stephens S 76th
Jevon Holland ATH 144th
*Isaiah Bolden CB 186th
Warren Thompson WR 196th
Jamal Elliott RB 201st
Adrian Jackson OLB 207th
**Braden Lenzy ATH 250th
Jonathan King DE Unranked

*Flipped from Florida State
**Flipped from Notre Dame

Perhaps even more significant for Oregon, is that it convinced Thompson to ditch the Sunshine State and turn down offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, and several other prime schools to head to the Beaver State and the city of Eugene.

The Ducks haven’t built a top-20 class since 2015, but at the moment they sit 14th on ESPN’s class rankings. Five of their nine four-star commits hail from Florida or California, and only two are from Oregon, meaning Taggart has been winning in states he’s not supposed to, even with his ties to the Florida area because of his stint at South Florida.

It wasn’t too long ago that Oregon was contending for national championships on the strength of a passing game that featured a dynamic quarterback and an abundance of athletic, explosive receivers.

The Ducks lost their touch in recent years under Mark Helfrich and sunk to the bottom of the Pac-12 as a result, but Monday’s commitment is a strong piece of evidence that Taggart and his staff are slowly pushing Oregon back to the top.

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Source: The Score

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