The 2013 recruiting class is finally (and perhaps mercifully) in the books for Oregon and first year head coach Mark Helfrich. After former Oregon head man Chip Kelly left Oregon to accept the head coaching position with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, Helfrich was charged with the task of maintaining the recruits already verbally committed to the Ducks, while also hitting the recruiting trail to finishing off the class and hiring new assistants to fill vacated positions left as result of Kelly and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro's departure to Philly. Wednesday, however, Helfrich and Oregon fans near and far could breathe a collective sigh of relief as the Ducks newest recruiting class is signed, sealed, and delivered. Before assembled members of the media at the Casanova Center spoke in detail about each one of his newest recruits. Below is Oregon's 2013 recruiting class in Helfrich's words:
"Just a really dynamic guy who will help Track Town, U.S.A. as well as hopefully Football Town, U.S.A. sometime...World-class high hurdler guy and (head track and field coach) Robert Johnson is very excited about him as well. [Johnson] came in [the football offices] and had a little celebration this morning. [Allen is] from a great program and his coach is someone who a bunch of us have known for a long time; Scooter Molander at Brophy Prep is one of the best coaches in Arizona history. He's a great kid from a great family and is a dynamic, versatile athlete."
"Kani Benoit is another Arizona kid. He was just under eight yards per carry last season, I think he was at 7.8, 7.9 yards per carry; a guy that we had always kind of kept our eye on throughout this whole recruiting process. Again, a solid kid who's a really competitive, humble, hungry type guy...Elusive, but doesn't have the 100-yard dash time as a couple of these other guys, but is very productive; a 'heavy runner' who runs through a lot of arm tackles and I'm excited about him as well."
"Obviously from a great program with (head coach) Ken Potter up at Jesuit. We know his family obviously a little bit more than some of these other ones, but just a solid kid and a guy that you'd want to hang out with and just a great guy. He played tight end, he played some defensive line, played a little bit here and there, and we anticipate him being a center or guard. He's a very vocal guy who seems like he could be a charismatic leader type guy at center, so we're excited about him as well."
"Darren Carrington, his dad played for predominantly for the Chargers for about eight years in the NFL, so he's from a pedigree. He has a sister who's a very good basketball player and who is better than him -- I was on orders to say -- but is a dynamic guy who was very under-recruited and then just hammered here [at the end] for some reason. He committed to us last summer after a camp and is just a guy who's best football is ahead of him; a very young bodied guy with natural hands. He had a great all-star game and great all-star camp...He was in the Semper Fi game down in L.A., but I'm just very excited to see him grow up. He's going to fill out a lot more; he's a good looking kid right now, but is going to get bigger, faster, stronger with coach (Jim) Radcliffe."
"Elijah George is kind of in the mold of a Jake Fisher-esque or Tyler Johnstone type body type; a taller, lean kid who is really athletic. He played in an offense at Arbor View where he was a double-tight, double-wing tackle, so we really like his upside doing a lot of things just because of his athleticism and his ability to run. He's a physical kid who's dad was a great basketball player...This is a guy who is 6'5", 265 lbs. and runs a sub 5-flat 40 and can really roll."
"Damion Hobbs led his team to a loss in the state championship game in Texas in the 5A division, which is some of the best football in the country. Had just under 3,000 yards (2,769) [passing] and I'd be lying if I told you exactly how much it was; I think he had 28 or 29 touchdowns this year. Coach (Joey) McGuire there at Cedar Hill has done an excellent job and it's a great program in Texas. [Hobbs] was a guy who was committed somewhere else due to a previous relationship with that coach and then kind of restarted his recruiting. He was a guy that we had always kind of been in contact with and can really throw it and can really run it. He's a great student and great leader and that was the biggest thing that [his coaches] really hit on, that -- outside of the athletic realm -- how great of a leader this guy was. They started off with a bunch of injuries at Cedar Hill and he kind of flipped the season and they ended up playing in the state championship game."
"Cameron Hunt is a fantastic offensive lineman. [Hunt's coach] Matt Logan at Corona Centennial is one of the best coaches in California who coaches a tremendous program and is a guy who we've had a great relationship with for a long time. I'm very excited for this guy; he's just a road grader, fast, physical, very, very polished player that's still going to get better and better as he just grows up and grows in to his frame. I think they ran for over 4,000 yards as a team last year and had over 8,000 yards of total offense, so we're going to watch their film too. He is a fantastic kid; his parents are awesome and is just a great kid from a great family."
"Danny Mattingly from Mead up in Spokane is another versatile, kind of big outside 'backer/tight end body type. He's about 6'5", 225-ish right now. He's been playing basketball and, like a broken record, is a great kid from a great family. This guy is a great student...When we went on our little world tour, it was just amazing. We walked out of his house and they have this huge acreage outside of Spokane and there's snow on the ground and it's about eight degrees and we walked out of there trying not to fall on the ice and just looked at each other like, 'How about this guy?' He's just off-the-charts. His dad built the house -- literally -- from wood on their land...just incredible people and very excited for him to be a part of our program."
3* TE John Mundt
6'4", 232 lbs. - Modesto (Calif.) Central Catholic
"His family is in the nut business...I learned a ton about the nut business, which is fascinating. I could tell you guys all about your walnuts and almonds...the import/export business is fascinating. This kid is a very versatile body type; he's probably 6'4" and change, 230-ish, and is just a stud. Fast, physical, great hands, and very excited about getting him with 'Oz' (Oregon tight ends coach Tom Osborne) and the boys. I'm really excited to see what he develops in to after a couple years with coach Radcliffe."
"Jake Pisarcik, you'll recognize that name as his dad was obviously Joe Pisarcik, former NFL quarterback. He's from New Jersey, just outside of Philly and Shawnee High School. His high school coach, Tim Gushue, had come out to our coaches clinic for a couple years and just kind of fell in love with the culture and he talked to Jake a little bit about that. We got involved with [Jake] a little bit later and he was a guy who put on a ton of weight and grew a ton from his junior year to his senior year. His film was fabulous. Early, when we watched him, it was one of those deals where he didn't have a lot of offers. We loved him and did our normal kind of due diligence, offered him a scholarship, and he committed. The other wolves came in and got after him a little bit, but he is a kid who stayed strong through it all and will probably end up being a guard for us here as we start out."
"Torrodney Prevot is again just a great kid with a tremendous smile and that can really run and hit the quarterback. Dynamic guy who played defensive end/outside 'backer and we see him kind of in the role of Dion Jordan. A guy who again is a young-bodied, athletic, dynamic, fast, physical, great tackler, great finisher, caused a lot of forced fumbles and a lot of havoc. He's from one of the premier high schools in the Houston area."
"Collectively, the Robinson twins are listed at 6'4" and one-pound difference so we don't make anybody mad, but one is a little bit taller than the other. Tyree is just very dynamic kind of athlete. He could play a ton of places and our philosophy on that is, if they are a multi-position guy -- Tyree is one, Tyrell is one, Juwaan Williams we'll get to -- is to kind of let them pick first. Usually what the guys pick or what they think is their best idea is what they're going to have the most success at initially and if that ends up being something different down the road, then we'll talk about that and make them think it's their idea. Tyree is a guy who just flourished with whatever he did -- basketball, receiver, corner, returner, tailback -- and again, just a great kid with a great smile. Their mom is just a light, a shining light, with her energy. She's always quackin', she's always talking about quackin', and she's been talking about that for a long time, so that's good. Tyrell is just a little bit bigger version of the same; a second level, maybe third level athlete in terms of from the line of scrimmage. He played basketball, he played on offense; they're just two dynamic guys and we'll figure out and sort out where they end up playing."
"Chris Seisay was another kid who's kind of a long striding, skinnier guy who has a huge upside. Coach Rad and I had watched some film together a long time ago and he really liked his development capability as an athlete. He's from a very good team as well. Ian MacMillan is his head coach at American Canyon and he couldn't stop talking about how tough this guy was. A lot of guys who play that position aren't necessarily characterized as tough right off the bat, especially with his basic frame, but he did a great job in the return game and played some corner, played some tailback, played some quarterback and was all over the map."
"Thomas Tyner is obviously well publicized, I mean the guys is off-the-charts. World-class speed who will obviously help our track team as well. Hopefully he and Devon will be able to help both programs out for a long, long time. He had that one game where he rushed for whatever it was -- 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns -- and is just the total package as a tailback; a physical guy, a fast guy, really good hands, and just excited to get him involved. He's a kid that you can just have a normal conversation with and talk about the future and he just wants to compete."
"Evan Voeller from up at West Linn played for coach (Mike) Fanger. Again, a guy who got a ton better as his career went. He was kind of one of those guys that got a little bit bigger than maybe he wanted to throughout his high school career and just grew in to his body and kind of started playing urgently and physically and is just a guy who coach (Steve) Greatwood is excited to get in. He'll be a guard initially and will get in the weight room and get bigger, faster, stronger."
"Joe Walker is a kid that's already here and is a linebacker from L.A. Harbor. We had a workout this morning and a lot of those guys that come in from junior college are not in great shape and it's kind of a tribute to him and his program that he came in in fantastic shape. He did a great job of being vocal and finishing drills and doing that kind of thing, which is not always the case for newcomers and guys in their first [year], but I think he knows he's got a chance to play obviously with losing Kiko (Alonso) and Michael (Clay) and Dion (Jordan)."
"Great kid, unbelievable family. This kid, we're sitting there and we're talking with the whole family and he starts talking for a half-hour about all the reasons why he should come to Oregon and it was unbelievable. I was just like, 'Uh huh, yep, uh huh,' and then his mom starts crying and I'm like, 'Okay, this is either going to go really well or really poorly,' and at the end of this soliloquy, he finishes with, '...and I'm gonna commit to Oregon.' I think mom was simultaneously proud and maybe a little bit sad that her little boy was going across the country, but he's just an off-the-charts kid. Again, kind of in the mold of a Josh Huff guy, but a little bit taller. He played quarterback, played wide out, played tailback, played defensive back, and again, just an off-the-charts guy."
"Last but not least, Matt Wogan was in our camp last summer and impressed us not only as a kicker, but again as a kid. Comes from another great home and both his parents are really excited for him to come out here. The thing that always stands out to me about Matt is that he's the captain of his football team and there's not too many kickers that are the captains of their football team, so I think that says a lot not only about his athletic ability, but him as a guy."