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.
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.
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.