After the Stanford loss and struggles in the running game, Oregon fans clamored with the now-familiar cry that "the Ducks need more beef up front."
Today they added a verbal commitment from 6-5 295-lb, offensive tackle Haniteli Lousi, a junior college prospect from the College of San Mateo with three years to play two. Earlier this season they picked up pledges from 6-4, 298 Tyrell Crosby and 6-7, 305 Braden Eggert.
If they can add one more powerful, athletic o-linemen, it's another outstanding recruiting year for position coach Steve Greatwood and the rest of the Oregon staff. Top targets include Nick Gates of Bishop Gorman Las Vegas (6-4, 272) Quinn Bailey Higby Gilbert, Arizona (6-6, 270) and Chris Brown of Loyola Los Angeles (6-6, 285). Gates makes an official visit this weekend, and he is a good one, among the most mobile and athletic of the bunch, a very good fit for the system.
Lousi, who will sign next week, is rated 4-stars on Scout and 247 Sports, as yet unrated by Rivals. He's an important pickup because he is nimble enough to play guard and gives the Ducks much-needed depth and versatility. Big and strong, he excels at pulling out in front of plays and blocking at the second level.
His commitment also gives the Ducks added rapport with San Mateo teammate Ricka Levi, a 6-2, 350-lb. nose tackle.
I want to take back something I said earlier in the season. It appeared to me, at the time, that this might be the Ducks best shot at something grand, mostly because I saw the team's depth dwindling due to graduation and NFL defections.
This is shaping up to be a pretty awesome year for grabbing talent that can step in and play well. No, I'll never be one of those guys who says the Ducks need more beef on the line (they're pretty good sized already) but it looks like they'll be just fine with the JC commits they've landed already.
It isn't even January yet, and I can't wait for the spring game...
Levi is 6'2" and 350? Yikes and crikey! That's some major beef. Hope that he can move, that he fits the Ducks system and they go get him.
This is great, lets get Ricka Levi as well. Plus how about that 400# kid from the state of Washington? I can see Dale Newton at guard and duckified at tackle as well.GO DUCKS!
I hope they like raw meat and growl a lot. Great to see new beef on offense and defense, now if we can coach and motivate them properly. I would like to see some seven man fronts next year. It would be great to dispel the weak label.
The 2014 Oregon Spring Game will be May 3 at 11 a.m. PT in Autzen Stadium. We should plan a tailgate, because I agree with you, the outlook has improved dramatically with Mariota and Grasu's commitment to return and the class they are putting together.
Tonight Rika Levi, a 6-2, 350-lb. DT from College of San Mateo, announced he wouldn't be taking a scheduled official visit to Washington this week in the wake of the coaching upheaval there. He's a juco teammate of Hanitei Lousi, a 6-5, 295-lb. offensive linemen who visited Oregon last weekend. He's big enough, but can he get off the ball at the PAC-12 level?
In highlights he looks strong and nasty, moves around very well for his prodigious size. Ron Aiken will give him a look. With JC guys, the trick is getting them graduated and into school, then getting them acclimated to a higher level of competition. It doesn't always pan out, but the Ducks got tremendous results from Zac Clark, a stalwart on the 2010 PAC-12 Championship team and a contributor on the 2009 Rose Bowl squad. Clark, by the way, played at 6-2, 270, 42 tackles, 4 sacks and 9.5 TFLs as a senior, quick and disruptive.
@DLW37 He moves pretty well. From an article I wrote last week:
@SonomaDuck I'm too small for guard at 6-3, 225 and too old to play anywhere. The 400# kid doesn't have the agility for D-1. Levi definitely does.
@SonomaDuck Good casting Sonoma, I played tackle in school.
@duckified The class is coming together very well, and they have a couple of important visitors this weekend in Mattrell McGraw and Nick Gates.