Rutger Reitmaier

Oregon receives commitment from 3-star DE Jonathan King

Oregon receives commitment from 3-star DE Jonathan King

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. 

 

How Oregon's recruits fit in: DL - Immediate help might be needed, or not

How Oregon's recruits fit in: DL - Immediate help might be needed, or not

Oregon coach Willie Taggart last week signed his first recruiting class, which Rivals.com ranked No. 18 in the nation. Now CSN is taking a look at how each new recruit could fit into the Ducks' plans next season.

Other entries: QuarterbacksRunning backs, Wide receivers/tight ends, Offensive line, Linebackers, Defensive backs.

Today: Defensive line.

New Ducks: Austin Faoliu (6-3, 285, Mater Dei H.S., Santa Ana, Calif.), Rutger Reitmaier (6-3, 279, Lipscomb Academy, Nashville, Tenn.) and Jordan Scott (6-1, 350, Pinellas Park Senior H.S., Largo, Fla.). 

Projected starters: Defensive ends Henry Mondeaux, Sr., (6-5, 280) and Drayton Carlberg, RSo., (6-5, 290), and nose guard Rex Manu, Jr., (6-3, 300).

Key backups: Defensive ends - Jalen Jelks, RJr., (6-6, 260), Elijah George, RSr., (6-5, 290), Gus Cumberlander, RSo., (6-6, 260), Hunter Kampmoyer, RFr., (6-4, 245), and Bryson Young, So.,  (6-5, 245).  Nose guard - Gary Baker, RSo., (6-4, 305), 

The situation: Oregon's defensive line was used and abused in 2016 so shifting from the 4-3 to the 3-4 could be addition by subtraction for the Ducks. 

That said, there is some young talent onboard, such as Carlberg, Manu, Jelks and Baker, who should improve after being thrown into the fire last season. 

So where do the freshmen fit in?

One might assume that help is needed right away given that UO allowed 246.6 rushing yards per game last season. Not so fast. Out of the three recruits only Reitmaier comes with much hype. Rivals.com rated the four-star recruit as the No. 21 defensive tackle prospect in the country. Scott will need of some serious conditioning and training to shed some of his 350 pounds in order to make an impact at the Pac-12 level. Fauliu is not rated national but certainly has some size and talent. 

One never truly knows who will surprise in fall camp (see Troy Dye and Justin Herbert in 2016), and new coach Willie Taggart has made it clear that all freshmen will have a chance to earn instant playing time.  

“They are going to have every opportunity to go out and compete and try to take somebody’s job,” Taggart said. “I told our players that’s what we’re going to do, recruit guys to take their jobs and it’s on them to keep their jobs.”

The verdict: Oregon already has good defensive line recruits on the roster. They simply struggled playing as freshmen and sophomores. So why believe that new freshmen are going to revolutionize the defensive line? Development is always the key, so expect to see the now experienced Oregon defensive linemen improve while the freshmen, except for maybe Reitmaier, redshirt next season. 

Next up: Linebackers.