July 21, 2006

Recruiting Duck LBs for 2007: Part I

With two graduating seniors and two recent transfers, the Oregon Duck linebacking corps has gotten a little thin. To compound the problem, the Ducks' current defensive nomenclature calls a third linebacking position, "strong safety" and there are also two scholarship players graduating from that group in 2007. That means the Duck linebacker corps is due for a infusion of fresh blood. Two questions leap out at even the casual observer: how many recruits will the coaching staff bring in in the class of 2007 and who will they be?

The first question is always an interesting one. Like "political science," determining the number of scholarships any school has available for a recruiting class as a whole or a specific position in particular is more art than science. A number of factors come into play. The first thing to determine is how many scholarships are opening up due to graduation, injury and transfers. Generally, that isn't too hard - even though it can be in a state of flux at any given moment. Right now, based on the aforementioned transfers and graduations, it appears that the Ducks have as many as six scholarships available for the three linebacking positions. Of those, four appear to be open at the two interior slots and two at the outside "strong safety" position.

Even after you've determined how many scholarships might be available, determining how many scholarships will be given out isn't cut and dried. You also have to look at the available talent pool from which you are recruiting and the level of interest in your program from the players in that talent pool. This year's talent pool on the West Coast, the Duck's main recruiting ground, is generally considered thin as far as linebackers go. Rivals, for example, rates only 2 linebackers (both have committed elsewhere) in its Western region as worthy of 4 stars or more. The Duck coaches seem to agree, having offered only 7 or 8 recruits scholarship at the linebacker position.

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