November 10, 2010

PA athlete back from Oregon visit

Nobody is surprised when the Oregon Ducks reach across the country for talent. Though California will always send the most players to Eugene, the roster is replete with athletes from across the country. Pennsylvania has not been one of the usual haunts for Oregon coaches, but McKeesport High School has gotten their full attention.

Tigers head coach Jim Ward has two players, both on the defensive line who have the Ducks' eye. Both took their official visits to Eugene last Saturday to watch the Ducks beat one of their historical nemeses, the Washington Huskies. McKeesport standouts Branden Jackson and Delvon Simmons both received official offers from the University of Oregon in the last month, then wasted no time checking out the nation's #1 team. Coach Ward gave Duck Sports Authority some background on Jackson's recruitment.

"Branden initially when this recruiting process began I asked him some ideas of some schools and some things he might want to do with his career and the first thing he said was 'I would love to go away from home.' I asked him 'how far is away from home?' and he said 'How about the West Coast?' He picked out a couple schools he was interested in and I told him I would call anybody for him. Oregon was one of those schools."

So last weekend travel he did, making the trek from the Pittsburgh-area to Eugene. DSA asked Jackson for his impressions of the cross-country flight.

"It was a long flight but it was comfortable," said Jackson. "You have to travel to get places and I didn't mind it."

Coach Ward explained why Jerry Azzinaro would look to Pennsylvania to offer an athletic scholarship.

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