Defensive end Jonathan King out of Tampa, Fl., has committed to Oregon, according to 247Sports.com, giving the Ducks 10 recruits on the oral hook for the 2018 recruiting class.
King represents the first oral commitment Oregon has received since May 5.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, King could very well become a great player for Oregon, but he doesn't fall into the category of being a virtual can't miss defensive lineman that Oregon must continuously sign in order to avoid the dramatic defensive downturn the team experienced over the past two seasons.
King, who had offers from Penn State and Florida State, among others, is rated as a three-star recruit by both 247Sports and Rivals.com. The latter ranks him as the 35th-best weakside defensive end in the nation. Rivals.com does not rate him within its top defensive ends.
Given that the Ducks are moving back to the 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, it would appear that King will most likely play outside linebacker or a hybrid position, and not line up as a true, 3-4 defensive end. That would require him adding at least 40 pounds and might neutralize a lot of his quickness as a pass rusher.
However, former Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner was listed at 245 pounds while in high school before blowing up to 290 at Oregon.
As for the bigger picture, the Ducks still must sign marquee defensive line prospects in order to thrive. As pointed out in a previous article, the failure to recruit high-end defensive linemen from 2013 through 2016 proved to be devastating for the defense.
So far the new staff under coach Willie Taggart has landed commitments from two three-star defensive linemen for the 2018 class on the heels of signing two three-star defensive tackles and one four-star defensive tackle for the 2017 recruiting class. However, the lone four-star recruit, Rutger Reitmaier, committed to Oregon last June, six months before Taggart became the head coach.
The good news is that plenty of time remains for UO to add more defensive linemen. Oregon will host a satellite camp on June 24.
The addition of King boosted Oregon's class ranking on Rivals.com to No. 14, up from No. 18. It's been as high as No. 11. UO's average star ranking of 3.3 ranks 18th.