When former Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly decided to take his talents to the sunny coastlines of the Delaware River in south-central Philly, everyone knew it was only a matter of time until recruits began abandoning their commitments and looking elsewhere.
But not everyone hurriedly de-committed. Most seem to be taking their time re-examining their school selections, if at all.
The highest profile recruit in Oregon’s class, Thomas Tyner, is still locked onto the Ducks. He indicated weeks ago that he was aware there was an excellent chance Kelly could leave for the NFL, and has remained rock solid.
The next two biggest recruits, the Robinson twins, Tyree and Tyrell, have all but de-committed. They took official visits with the Southern Cal Trojans this weekend, and potentially could take visits with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Washington Huskies before National Signing Day. You might as well consider them gone, Duck fans.
So the truly big question is whether the Ducks can hang onto speedy running back Dontre Wilson, who some consider the most talented player in the class, even over the aforementioned players. Wilson, an elite all-purpose back from DeSoto, Texas, has been a long time Ducks commit (ever since May of 2012). As soon as Kelly abandoned his multi-colored Ducks garb, Wilson’s phone blew up.
Wilson has indicated his top three is Oregon, Ohio State and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Having already visited Eugene, Oregon, Wilson will now be visiting both Columbus, Ohio and Stillwater, Oklahoma in the next two weeks. To make Duck fans even more nervous about losing the talented back, both Urban Meyer and Mike Gundy will be making their in-home visits this week (Meyer today, incidentally).
To make matters even more intriguing, both the Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven’t given up on Wilson either, and both teams’ head coaches should be visiting either this week or next.
So do I think he’ll leave?
Obviously, the only sure thing in recruiting is that there is no sure thing. But I think he’ll stick with the Ducks. New coach Mark Helfrich was the offensive coordinator for Kelly, so if anyone can keep the same offensive pace the Ducks are used to, its this guy. It also helps that most of the Ducks staff is remaining under Helfrich, and recruits and players alike both love continuity. So with the opportunity to play in the same offense that’s produced such prodigious runners as LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas, I think Wilson sticks around.
At least Duck fans hope he does.