The Signing Day Name Game! Pt. 1


Photo: ESPN The Magazine

Photo: ESPN The Magazine

Question: What was the most important minute of Super Bowl Sunday?

Answer: The release of the Fast and the Furious: 6 trailer.

Don’t argue, either. In just one minute, Vin Deisel murders a plane with a car, the Rock declares himself all in with our favorite band of NOS-boosted, cool-air injected auto thieves and it becomes known that Michelle Rodriguez isn’t really dead. Even if a football game did happen, there is nothing — I repeat, nothing — organic that could top this:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 2.30.02 PM

Or this:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 2.30.39 PM

Or this:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.45.19 PM

Back in Eugene, however, the Baron of Blur is gone and no M-Rod-like return to the stage seems imminent. But for at least a couple more seasons, his legend will live on. The Oregon Ducks locked in 19 recruits on National Signing Day, including five players listed in ESPNU’s Top 300.

The class doesn’t crack the 25 best in the nation, but after losing four-star RB Dontre Wilson back in January, Oregon and new head coach Mark Helfrich figures to be content with the class as constituted.

So, in honor of resuscitation, fast cars and football, let’s ride on our Signing Day Name Game.

Four-star recruits

Thomas Tyner (#6 RB), Aloha, OR, Aloha High School —

The pride of Oregon’s high school football system scared plenty of Duck fans when he accepted visits to a couple of other schools (including USC) following a brief de-commit from Oregon. He decided to stay local, however, and has been locked in since early October. He’s a big (6’0, 205 lb.), fast back that can hit a crease with the best of them. He’s a home run hitter, which is guaranteed to get Helfrich giddy, and his plus size should allow him to take over a serious workload early in his career.

Tyree Robinson (#42 WR) San Diego, CA, Abraham Lincoln High School —

Committed to Oregon along with twin brother Tyrell, as a two-sport athlete (they play basketball too, which undoubtedly disappoints all those Oregon fencing fans who thought they were snagging two 6’3 athletic freaks). Tyree is the more established of the two when it comes to a position (WR), is slightly skinnier (he weighs just 190 pounds), and has shown great hands, a good ability to go out and get the ball and a fearless streak over the middle while playing high school ball in San Diego.

Tyrell Robinson (#49 ATH) San Diego, CA, Abraham Lincoln High School —

At 210 pounds, Tyrell weighs in 20 pounds heavier than his brother, and he uses that weight wisely. Whether he ends up lining up with Tyree at wide receiver or as an outside linebacker/safety hybrid, his athleticism should allow him to make an impact early on.

Danny Mattingly (#34 ATH) Spokane, WA, Mead High School —

The coolest part about Mattingly? Besides his name? That he decommitted from Notre Dame in December in favor of the Ducks. He’s 6’5, 218 pounds and projects as either a tight end/H-back or a stand up rusher on the outside in a hybrid 3-4 system, two positions he played in high school. He has shown some solid hands, but his blocking needs some improvement. On defense, he’s a good tackler, has good closing speed and good instincts, but as a pass-rusher he could use a few more moves.

Darren Carrington (#55 WR) San Diego CA, Horizon High School —

The 6’4, 184 lb. wide receiver should be a good fit within the Ducks system, especially with the an already depleted receiving corps. He’s quick, has dynamite hands (check out the very first catch in the video) and is a deceptively strong blocker on the edge.

Three-star recruits

Chris Seisay (#91 ATH) American Canyon, CA, American Canyon High School —

Could play either receiver or safety for the Ducks. Considering the recruit-inspired logjam at receiver, however, and  the departure of John Boyett, it seems likely that Seisay will end up taking more reps on defense than he does on offense during the summertime.

Juwaan Williams (#110 ATH) Tucker GA, Tucker High School —

Williams played QB in high school, but given the signing of Damion Hobbs and Marcus Mariota’s emergence, Williams should end up as either a safety or a wide receiver (barring injury, of course. Now that Bryan Bennett has transferred, things are considerably thinner at quarterback). He received offers from Notre Dame and Florida State, but chose Oregon. He is going to need to get faster, however, if he plans on lasting as a safety or a receiver — his 40 time is a piano-dragging 4.92.

Damion Hobbs (#48 QB) Cedar Hill, TX, Cedar Hill High School —

Hobbs is a quarterback more in the mold of a Darron Thomas than of a Marcus Mariota, but he does have good size (6’3, 220), excellent vision and a Colin Klein-esque ability to gain positive yards in bunches of 7-10. He finds the hole quick and moves downhill just as fast, but by no means does he have breakaway speed once he reaches that second level. He should be a nice backup option in the next couple of years, and could develop into Mariota’s heir apparent given Hobbs’ innate understanding of the zone-read option.

Devon Allen (#166 WR) Phoenix AZ, Brophy Prep —

Allen is your prototypical slot guy/precision route-runner, built in the mold of a Jeff Maehl or a Jordan Shipley. He’s average size (6’0, 187) and a tick faster than quick (4.61 40-yard time). He doesn’t really project as a home run hitter, but he does project as a very dependable target in the next few years. He knows how to utilize his tool-set, as well, and does a great job of changing speeds within a route and adjusting to balls in the air. If he wants to make the move over to the edge, however, he could stand to gain a few pounds to help out in the blocking game. But overall, he’s a tough, heady player with good hands who runs crisp routes.

Doug Brenner (#165 ATH) Portland, OR, Jesuit High School —

At 6-2, 277, Brenner doesn’t exactly fit the normal prospect description of an “Athlete,” but the Portland native is just that. He plays multiple positions, including FB and TE, and could see time at both with the Ducks. Ultimately, however, his footspeed will most likely be best served somewhere in the middle of the offensive line.

Kani Benoit (RB) Phoenix, AZ, Thunderbird High School —

Signed on Monday, not much is known about Benoit save his school of origin (Thunderbird, which — fun fact — shares the same name as Bud and Doyle’s community college in the timeless classic Bio-Dome. Whether these two things are related, however, is still under investigation.) and the long list of mid-major/small conference schools that offered him as well. After losing Wilson, however, the Ducks reached out to Benoit and he rounds out the class of 2013. And yes, the song in the video is probably the most surprising thing about Benoit.

Categories: Analysis, Features, Previews, Recruiting

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