WATCH: Nation's No. 3 cornerback Dontae Manning commits to the Oregon Ducks

WATCH: Nation's No. 3 cornerback Dontae Manning commits to the Oregon Ducks

The good news just keeps coming for fans of the Oregon Ducks.

A day after winning the 106th Rose Bowl, Duck fans learned of a massive addition to Oregon's 2020 recruiting class: Dontae Manning.

The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback is the third-ranked player at his position according to 247Sports, with a composite ranking of sixth. He signed with Oregon during the early national signing period from December 18-20 but decided to announce his decision publicly at the Under Armour All-American game Thursday evening.

Manning has been long rumored to be a Ducks lock but it's always good to see he officially signed to enroll in Eugene for his college career. 

You can watch his hudl highlights below.

Go ahead and celebrate top recruiting in Pac-12, but does it really matter?

Go ahead and celebrate top recruiting in Pac-12, but does it really matter?

Of course, all the rabid college football fans are tuned in and jacked up today for the early signing of national letters of intent.

And Oregon and Washington fans, especially, are pumped.

The Huskies and Ducks are ranked at the top of the Pac-12 in the caliber of recruiting classes they’re bringing onto their campuses for next season. Which is great for them, I guess, but I’ve never really seen the rankings of the top recruits as anything but a guessing game with bias.

A lot of the people out there ranking players, either by watching them in person, at camps or games, or on video, may not be the most skilled talent evaluators around. If they were, they’d probably be employed by a college, rather than a website.

I’ve always felt, too, there is a bias in regard to ranking the players, which tends to lean in favor of the traditional powers. You know, if Alabama or Clemson is recruiting a quarterback, then he must be pretty good, so we’ll give him five stars. I’ve watched that thing go on for years.

But at the same time, I think other factors need to be considered when projecting these youngsters into a college program. Will they fit the system? Will the coaches who recruited them be able to coach them? Will these players be happy with their teammates, coaches, colleges, living situations and even the weather after they’re on campus for a while? And will the highly rated ones improve at the same rate as some of the “others.”

And as far as having the best recruiting class in the Pac-12, I’d not get too excited over that, either.

If you really think that all this recruiting fuss matters, you’d have to be worried because neither Oregon nor Washington has even cracked the top 10 nationally in recruiting ranking this year. Ahead of them are all the same schools that have been dominating the national scene for years. And, of course, most of them have been stacking top-ranked recruiting classes on top of top-ranked recruiting classes for many seasons in a row.

You might know them, because they will be representing their conferences in the four-team national playoff that you'll be sitting at home watching.

So, go ahead and celebrate, Pac-12 fans – you’ve probably signed some pretty good players.

But my guess is, the teams ahead of you on the national scene have likely signed even better ones, at least by the reckoning of those recruiting gurus.

If that even matters.

Four-star dual threat QB Robby Ashford commits to the Oregon Ducks

Four-star dual threat QB Robby Ashford commits to the Oregon Ducks

The Ducks are adding another quarterback to their 2020 recruiting class.

Despite Jay Butterfield, the nation’s third ranked pro-style quarterback, enrolling early in Eugene in January, it looks like the Ducks are not done just yet.

Four-star dual threat quarterback and recent Ole Miss decommit Robby Ashford signed with the Oregon Ducks during Early Signing Day Wednesday. He's the 10th ranked dual threat quarterback in the 2020 high school class.

He initally planned to sign in February, but changed his mind. 

According to 247Sports national recruiting director Steve Wiltfong, four-star dual-threat quarterback Robby Ashford arrived in Eugene Friday night for an official visit this past weekend ahead of the early signing period. 

He recently decommitted from Ole Miss following the firing of then-Rebels head coach Matt Luke and the hiring of Lane Kiffin.

Before committing to Ole Miss, Oregon did make his top-eight schools.

Here are Ashford’s junior season highlights.

Check out all of the recruits who signed with the Ducks here... 

Social Media reacts to five-star LB Justin Flowe committing to the Oregon Ducks

Social Media reacts to five-star LB Justin Flowe committing to the Oregon Ducks

11:16am... that's the time when Justin Flowe, the top rated outside linebacker in the country, as well as the top player in California, donned an Oregon baseball cap and flashed an O to the cameras, surrounded by his classmates in a crowded gym at Upland High School. 

Many Ducks fans, players and coaches took to social media to share their excitement. 

To get things started, many current and future Ducks players were hyped, like the other five-star linebacker in the 2020 recruiting class: Noah Sewell.

https://twitter.com/Blessah_2/status/1207379329014849536
As did Keith Brown, a 2021 Ducks commit who also happens to be the top rated inside linebacker in the country for his recruiting class.

Many other Ducks celebrated the announcement.

Former USC and Heisman winner Matt Leinart also paid attention to the newest trend in recruiting; recruits from southern California going to Oregon rather than USC.

Some national media pundits also are taking note of the Ducks’ stellar recruiting, such as Bruce Feldman.

As excited as the Ducks players were, the fans were equally as excited. 

Some USC fans didn’t take the news well.

Oregon strikes gold with Justin Flowe: Makes history, high-ceiling impact

Oregon strikes gold with Justin Flowe: Makes history, high-ceiling impact

The Oregon Ducks just landed one of their highest 2020 recruiting class targets on the board. Five-star linebacker Justin Flowe’s commitment to UO catapults the Ducks into possible top-10 class territory (which would likely usurp Washington for No. 1 in the Pac-12 Conference), makes history and provides a high-ceiling player possible of instant defensive impact.

Flowe makes history

Flowe’s commitment is a testimony that Oregon coach Mario Cristobal will continue to bolster and emphasize his physical defense. Oregon’s 15.7 points allowed per game in 2019 is the lowest in school history since 1966, holding 12 of 13 opponents under their season scoring average. 

Flowe is nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 4 overall prospect in the 2020 signing class, according to 247Sports.

Flowe became the second highest-rated recruit in program history for Oregon, behind only true freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.  His commitment cements Oregon with the second consecutive class where the Ducks land the best-rated player in California (Thibodeaux) and he joins Noah Sewell as another five-star linebacker in the current class.

It was the best for me, personally. I feel like I’ll thrive in that program.

-Justin Flowe

The Ducks have their four highest-rated linebackers in program history currently enrolled or committed to UO (2020 commit Noah Sewell, true freshman Mase Funa and class of 2021 recruit Keith Brown).

Under Cristobal, Oregon has landed back-to-back classes with a five-star defensive player for the first time in UO history; Thibodeaux in 2019 and Sewell and Flowe in 2020.

Flying with the Ducks

With Clemson adding a five-star linebacker Trenton Simpson over the weekend, Oregon was in a battle with USC for Flowe’s commitment. Entering early national signing day, Flowe was the nation’s top uncommitted prospect.

(Oregon) feels like I can come in and make an instant impact. I’m just going to go in and be ready to work. I’m going to play hard.

-Justin Flowe

The Upland, Calif. native received offers from the majority of top-tier programs and narrowed his choices to Clemson, USC, Miami and Oregon. The Ducks emerged as the leader but Flowe took an official visit to USC the final weekend before early signing day, and the Trojans jumped into his top-two after not being in his top-four earlier in the season. 

Flowe’s possible instant impact

Seniors Troy Dye and La’Mar Winston Jr. graduate this season, opening up playing at linebacker alongside Isaac Slade-Matautia. Flowe could step in right away and continue the upward trajectory the defense has been on the last few seasons. 

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound athlete has a verified 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash, 4.38 in the shuttle and a 34-inch vertical jump. In his senior season, he recorded 123 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one interception, five forced fumbles and 13 quarterback hurries.

He’s a huge hitter and one of the most physical football players to come out of California in years. He’s relentless in how he plays, refuses to stay blocked and does a great job in pursuit. He’s tremendous getting in the backfield and making plays. Has rare timing and instincts.

-Evaluation from 247 Sports

 

Flowe will join a loaded Duck front seven, with Jordon Scott, Austin Faoliu, DJ Johnson, Slade-Matautia, Thibodeaux, Funa, Sewell, and now Flowe. Plus, in next year's 2021 class the Ducks add in-state talent Brown, the nation's top rated inside linebacker. Defensive Coordinator Andy Avalos will have plenty of elite talent to play with in the years to come. 

Live Updates: Oregon State's Early National Signing Day

Live Updates: Oregon State's Early National Signing Day

Happy early National Signing Day!

Today, high school athletes across the country will sign his or her letter of intent for the next four years or so of their academic and athletic career. 

The Oregon State Beavers currently hold the No. 45 2020 recruiting class in the nation, 7th in the Pac-12, according to 247 Sports.

We're capturing all of the social media announcements from when each player committed (past and present) and reactions from the day's events. 

Here's where the 2020 class stands so far: 

Chance Nolan, QB, 3 Star

A dual threat JUCO quarterback who will enroll in January to compete with Tristan Gebbia for the starting quarterback position left behind by Jake Luton. He played college ball at Saddleback College in Menifee, CA where he put up 3315 yards passing with 38 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions in eleven games played.

Ben Gulbranson, PRO QB, 3 Star

247 Sports rates the 6-foot 3, 210-pound quarterback as the 33rd best pro style quarterback in the country for the 2020 recruiting class, good for a three-star rating.  He held offers from California, Arizona State, Kansas State and San Jose State. His tape shows off good accuracy and an ability to deliver balls in the right spot despite imminent pressure. 

Johnathan Riley, S, 3 Star

A 6-foot-2, 200 lb JUCO safety from Kilgore J.C. Oregon State beat out Texas Tech, Cinciannti, and interest from Baylor. 

Ron Hardge III, CB, 3 Star

Another JUCO transfer, Hardge III comes out of City College of San Francisco. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound cornerback held Oregon State as his lone offer. 

Zeriah Beason, WR, 3 Star

A former Rivals four-star, now three-star, wide receiver out of Duncanville High School (Dallas, TX). He held offers from 23 schools such as Florida, LSU, Michigan State, Arizona State, Baylor and Oklahoma State. At 6 foot, 180 pounds he lines up on the outside and is given plenty of bubble screens called for him. He has good field vision to get yards after the catch.

Cooper Darling, OG, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star out of Gilbert, Arizona rates as the 86th best guard in the country. At 6-foot-4, 290-pounds he has a frame to play at the Pac-12 level. His only other Power 5 offer was Arizona State. 

Taliese Fuaga, OT, 3 Star

A 6-foot-5, 320 pound offensive tackle out of Tacoma, WA. Oregon State beat out Oregon, USC, Nevada and Hawai’i for his commitment.

Tommy Spencer, TE, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star out of Roseville, CA and the 95th ranked tight end. He also held offers from Fresno State and San Diego State. At 6-foot-5, 248-pounds he showed proficiency at run-blocking tight end and hopes to catch passes as well in college. His college tape shows off good run blocking and route running.

Sione Lolohea, DE, 3 Star

The 6-foot-3 defensive end from Waimanalo, HI committed to the Beavers over Boise State, BYU and Colorado amongst others. The three-star recruit is ranked as the No. 23 strongside-defensive end in this upcoming recruiting class by 247Sports. 

Jake Overman, TE, 3 Star

A 6-foot-3, 231 pound tight end out of Anaheim, CA. He also held offers from Washington, Cal, Boise State and Arizona, among others.

John Miller, ILB, 3 Star

An in-state 247Sports composite three-star inside linebacker out of Tualatin, OR. He’s won co-defensive player of the year in the Three Rivers League as a junior and led Tualatin to the quarterfinals this past season. Oregon State was the first to offer the 6-foot-1, 215 pound linebacker and he committed quickly, so the Beavers are his only offer. 

Junior Walling, ILB, 3 Star

Another in-state 247Sports three-star composite inside linebacker out of Keizer, OR. The 6-foot-1, 231 pound recruit had offers from Air Force, Army, and Utah among other teams. 

Alton Julian, CB, 3 Star

A 6-foot-3 JUCO cornerback out of Palo Alto, CA. He also held offers from Colorado, Texas A&M, Boise State and Fresno State. He’ll have three years to play three. 

Trevor Pope, ATH, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star out of Tracy, CA. He held offers from Oregon State, Fordham, New Mexico and San Jose State. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound athlete played wide receiver in high school stretching the defense and getting yards after the catch on drag routes.

Silas Bolden, ATH, 3 Star

The younger brother of former Beavers receiver, Victor Bolden Jr, has a grade of three stars from 247Sports. He’s 5-foot-10, 175 pounds and held offers from Hawai’i, Idaho, Sacramento State and San Jose State. Like his older brother, he excels in the return game. In high school, he appears to operate on the outside as a wide receiver. 

Tavis Shippen, DE, 3 Star

Shippen is a 247Sports composite three-star strong-side defensive end out of Mt. San Jacinto College. The 6-foot-5, 275 pound JUCO transfer held offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Utah and UCLA. Through 10 games, he has recorded 62 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Rejzohn Wright, CB, 3 Star

This 6-foot-3, 186 pound JUCO cornerback played college ball in Union City, CA and is the brother of Beavers cornerback Nahshon Wright.

Shane Kady, DE, 3 Star

Kady is a 247Sports three-star composite weakside defensive end out of Mililani, HI. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound defensive end held offers from Fresno State, Arizona, BYU, Hawai’i, among others. He originally committed to Illinois out of high school before going to junior college.

How one recruit's commitment to Clemson could tip the scales for a top-tiered recruit to Oregon

How one recruit's commitment to Clemson could tip the scales for a top-tiered recruit to Oregon

When the Clemson Tigers offered a scholarship to 2020 five-star linebacker Trenton Simpson, he quickly committed, and it appeared to be another large get for the defending national champions. 

However, a decision that happened across the country could have a ripple effect all the way to Eugene. 

For a while, experts have claimed that it’s been a two-horse race between the Oregon Ducks and Clemson Tigers for five-star linebacker Justin Flowe, the top-ranked player in California for the 2020 class. 

The 6-foot-2, 225 pound inside linebacker out of Upland High School has announced a declaration date of December 18th, the first day of the early signing period. 

Now, less than a week out from his official decision, Clemson offered another linebacker who quickly accepted the spot in their class, and many are flipping their predictions to Flowe choosing Oregon.

Earlier Sunday morning, Oregon’s percent of crystal balls on 247Sports was 44 percent for Flowe’s commitment. At the time of this writing, it’s increased again to 50 percent

It wouldn’t be out of the question that Flowe told Clemson he was committing to Oregon, or, at least, they wouldn’t be getting his commitment. Then, the Tigers would move quickly to secure Simpson’s commitment. It's important to note that Flowe took a visit to USC the weekend before his committment date, but also did not have USC in his top-4 teams. 

Now, if Flowe decided to come play for Oregon, it would be a massive get. Not only would it be the second consecutive class where the Ducks land the best-rated player in California, but he would join Noah Sewell as another five-star linebacker in the current class. With Troy Dye graduating this season, playing time will open up for as soon as next season at linebacker. Flowe could step in right away and continue the upward trajectory the defense has been on the last few seasons. 

Here’s his junior season highlights. 

Jay Butterfield, Nation's No. 3 Pro Style QB, to enroll early at Oregon

Jay Butterfield, Nation's No. 3 Pro Style QB, to enroll early at Oregon

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, question looking ahead to next season of Oregon football, is who will replace the departing Justin Herbert at quarterback?

If Herbert’s heir isn’t already on campus in Tyler Shough, he will be soon when 2020 QB commit Jay Butterfield steps foot in Eugene on January 4th. 

The 6-foot-6, 202 pound signal caller out of Brentwood, CA is rated as the third best pro style passer in this upcoming high school class according to 247Sports. Rivals’ Recruiting Director Mike farrell has claimed he could be a future first day NFL Draft selection. 

Butterfield is a tall quarterback with a great frame to fill out who has a strong arm but can also move around a bit. He’s raw, but his talents are evident and he could be a first-rounder down the line if he develops.

Following the official departure of offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo, the Ducks commit tweeted out his commitment to UO still stood. Arroyo was among his main recruiters to come to Eugene, but clearly wasn’t the only determining factor. 

Butterfield will join Bradley Yaffe and Cale Millen (coming off shoulder injury) at the quarterback position on the Ducks' roster next season.

When Butterfield starts practicing with the team, expect him to push Shough for the starting job this fall.

His high school highlights are below.

JUCO safety Johnathan Riley commits to Oregon State

JUCO safety Johnathan Riley commits to Oregon State

Jonathan Smith just landed another big recruit at Oregon State. 

JUCO safety Johnathan Riley committed to the Beavers this weekend after Coach Smith flew to Waldorf, Maryland for an in-home visit. Riley previously visited Oregon State for the Washington game on Nov. 8 and fell in love with Corvallis.

The 6-foot-3, 196 pound safety will look to make an immediate impact in the Beaver secondary.

Riley says he chose Oregon State over offers from UMass, Cincinnati and New Mexico State because he saw it as the perfect place to focus on football. 

"Even from an early age I was obsessed with perfecting my craft and for that I am grateful," Riley said. "Proud to announce I will be attending Oregon State for the next three years." 

You can watch his HUDL highlights here to get a taste of what Riley can bring.

Overview of the Beavers 2020 Recruiting Class: Targets

Overview of the Beavers 2020 Recruiting Class: Targets

This is the last article in a three article series breaking down the Beavers 2020 recruiting class. 

On Tuesday, we looked at the offensive commits. Yesterday, we provided an overview of the defensive commits.

Now let’s go over the targets still up for grabs in this recruiting cycle. 

Kaden Johnson, OLB, 4 Star

A 247Sports composite four-star out of Minneapolis, MN. The 6-foot-2, 235 pound outside linebacker visited Oregon State earlier this month.

He currently ranks as the twelfth OLB in the recruiting cycle and first in his state. 247Sports’ crystal ball predictions have Minnesota and Wisconsin as the leaders for his commitment, although he has visited OSU more recently than both of them. He still plans to make a visit to LSU as well.

Rejzohn Wright, CB, 3 Star

Joining Johnson on campus was Rejzohn Wright, a 247Sports composite three-star cornerback out of Laney College. At 6-foot-3, 186 pounds he has the size to play corner at a Pac-12 level. 100% of 247Sports’ crystal ball predictions have him landing at Oregon State. He’s ranked as the seventh best cornerback on a JUCO level for this recruiting cycle. He also holds offers from UCLA, Colorado, Fresno State, Hawai’i and San Jose State. 

Jake Overman, TE, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star tight end out of Anaheim. CA. The 6-foot-3, 231 pound prospect also holds offers from Washington, California, Colorado, Utah, among others. According to 247Sports, he has a warm interest in both Oregon State and UNLV although the crystal ball predictions have him committing to Washington. However, his visit at Washington was last year while he visited Oregon State this summer. Also with OSU having four tight ends on the roster and one commit this cycle versus Washington with ten on their roster and two commits this cycle, if Overman wants to the opportunity for more playing time his best bet is Oregon State.

James McNorton, OT, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite offensive tackle from Brentwood, CA. He transferred to Liberty High School for his senior season which he entered with zero offers. Since then, he has put on 20 pounds to weigh in at 270 and still be 6-foot-5. Along with more size has been more offers with Oregon State and Washington State as his top teams. However, he says he has no plans to commit soon.

Dezjhon Malone, CB, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star cornerback out of Fresno, CA and a hard commit to Fresno State. However, he is taking a visit to Oregon State on November 8th for the OSU home game against Washington. If he wants to play for a Power 5 conference, he may decide to flip. His others include BYU and UNLV. 

Levi Rogers, OG, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star offensive guard from Woodinville, WA. All of the crystal ball predictions indicate he is going to Stanford. He also holds offers from Arizona State, California, Oregon, among others. According to 247, he has the same level of interest in all of the mentioned schools and Oregon State. But, the crystal predictions tell them not get their hopes up since he appears to be a lock to enroll at Stanford. He is 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds.

Keanu Tanuvasa, DE, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite strongside defensive end out of Mission Viejo, CA. The 6-foot-4, 275 pound prospect plans to visit Oregon State on November 16th for OSU’s home game against ASU. UCLA appears to be in the lead but perhaps the Beavers can close that gap with his visit. His other offers include Arizona, Boise State, BYU, and Utah. 

DeShawn Lynch, DE, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star strongside defensive end. His crystal ball predictions narrowly favor Oregon over Nebraska and other teams. However, 247Sports claims he has a warm interest in Oregon State still. He also holds offers from Arizona State, Tennessee, USC, and other teams.

Latrell Bankston, DT, 3 Star

A 247Sports composite three-star defensive tackle out of Hutchinson Community College. He’s the fourth ranked JUCO defensive tackle in this recruiting cycle. 75% of 247Sports' crystal ball predictions have Oregon State securing his commitment. He also holds offers from Iowa State, Kansas State, Arizona and Boise State, among others. He has recorded 3 sacks this JUCO season in 7 games.

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