There was plenty of concern about what would happen to the Oregon Ducks following Chip Kelly‘s departure for the NFL. Mark Helfrich, however, was able to hit the ground running and brought in a very strong class for 2013 after just three weeks on the job. The strength of Helfrich’s first class will be the balance he found between playmakers and solid role players.
So much of the Ducks’ success in recent years has come from their ability to hit the huge play on any snap. Kelly’s up-tempo offensive attack was predicated on getting elite athletes and putting them in position to bust games open with home run plays. That’s why he was always on the front line to recruit some of the premier running backs and athlete prospects across the country.
And Helfrich continued that tradition. The gem of the class is four-star running back Thomas Tyner who looks to have the size, speed and playmaking ability to continue the tradition of great Oregon running backs. He’ll be joined on offense by a trio of San Diego playmakers with twins Tyree Robinson and Tyrell Robinson and wideout Darren Carrington to bring their dynamic ability to Autzen next fall.
More important to the Ducks’ likely success, however, was the depth they added at some key positions that will get a lot less time in the spotlight. Helfrich was able to bring in a pair of top guard prospects in Evan Voeller and Cameron Hunt who will push for a starting job immediately. At the very least, the beefy, athletic interior linemen will give some insurance along the offensive line in front of quarterback Marcus Mariota.
On top of that, Helfrich was able to bring depth to the defense with the addition of linebacker Danny Mattingly and defensive end Torrodney Prevot, a top-20 defensive end who was at one time a USC Trojans commitment. The pair will give Nick Aliotti plenty to work with on the defensive side of the ball next season and beyond as he continues to build the Oregon defense to keep up with the Ducks’ high-flying offense.
The Oregon Ducks are in good hands recruiting-wise with Mark Helfrich at the helm, evidenced by the first-time head coach’s ability to bring flash and substance to Eugene in his first recruiting class.