Finally another terrific defensive tackle prospect. He's 6-3 and a nephew of Haloti Ngata. Powerful and disruptive, Ratu Mafileo of Moanalua High School in Hawaii had 8 sacks and 39 tackles for loss as a senior. He benches 345 and squats 565.
Justin Hopkins of Duck Territory reported that new UO linebacker coach Erik Chinander visited him this Thursday.
If his grades check out, Oregon is likely to offer the the Moanalua strongman. Former teammate Scott Pagano, a freshman linebacker at Clemson, told Dirk Knudsen of West Coast Preps, "This kid is the real deal. He is 6'2"- 310 pounds and played next to me the last couple of years. His technique and strength are right there with the best. He is an awesome guy and will make a great collegiate linemen for any school."
In his highlight film Mafileo impresses with both power and agility. He's well coached, utilizing a spin move, a swim move, the bullrush, keeping his feet moving as he reads the play. He's a good tackler and moves extremely well for a big interior lineman, driving off the line.
He looks comfortable in a three-point stance and uses his strength and leverage, works hard, runs hard, and sheds blocks. At times he makes offensive linemen look a little helpless. Reading and reacting, he plays with his head up and gets to the ball, very smart defending screens, draws, misdirection, displaying a lot of pride and urgency, playing to the whistle.
He also wrestles and plays basketball, both of which have made him more of a force in the middle. Hudl senior highlight film HERE.
If the Ducks close with Trey Lealaimatafao, Courtney Garnett and Mafileo, or at least two of them, it adds some much-needed beef and balance to the 2014 recruiting class.
@DuckSportsNow lol this has to be some kind of prank... honorable mention all conference now has Oregon??
I don't understand the wait too offer these kids so late when the staff new they were losing 4 guys that played D Line to which our rotation was really good, So hopefully maybe they start offering MONEY like the SEC too these kids and we can get them.
Trey L apparently wants nightlife so LSU looks much stronger plus there is also the issue that the SEC pays much better allowing him to enjoy the nightlife. Garnett doesn't have a scheduled visit and is warming up to UofOklahoma and Texas. The big hope is resting on the grades of Mafileo. My guess is that some other school knows something about his grades already. And, I bet it isn't particularly good news. Very, very good chance Oregon strikes out on all 3. Getting two of the three is a sucker bet. Said it before, based on what Oregon needs the most, this recruiting season isn't very promising. Reminds of the two other seasons where someone forgot to recruit any db's (the year before Neal was hired) and a few years later when someone forgot to recruit lbs.
First post ever, really enjoy the insights & candor from Dale & posters. This would be a huge get along with Trey should he sign, no doubt. These type of talents fit perfectly into our 3/4 D fronts, particularly if they're the rare breed that can consistently require 2 blockers.
The problem will still be the same as last year however if our LBs don't step up & actually make plays the lineman are trying to set them up to make. If our talent doesn't rise from LB it does little good. If Pellum tries forcing the same square peg that Nick did, expect the same results. No attack, no pressure, no matter. Hoping to see more recruits like this, but schemes, formations & game plans that match our talent on the field. My juries still out if anything'll change from last year..
I'm no coach but I can read. And what I've read is that four, often-starting DTs are graduating in Havili-Heimuli, Keliikipi, Hart and Ebert along with back-up Ryan Hagen - all of them big boys. Add to this the fact that the Ducks D is on the field twice as much as the O, which requires depth to keep players fresh. So I'm extremely pleased to see offers going out to some big athletic DTs in January. Better late than never.
I was high on juco DT 6-5 300 Hampton, but apparently he has academic issues. Thus for months the only Duck commits to fill 4-5 holes was a very promising juco transfer in 6-5 265 Tui Talia, probably a DE, and supposed DT Jalen Jelks, 6-7 but only 253. Now, finally, Ducks are looking at likely landing DTs 6-3 315 Matifeo (visiting next weekend and ready to commit if offered) and 6-0/6-1/6-2 301 Lealaimatafao (a Duck lean since he was offered and visiting this weekend, his last official visit), and perhaps juco DT 6-2 285 Gus Ferrat. Three other recently offered DTs in Garnett, Ford and Sawyers are strongly leaning elsewhere, but who knows?
I'm guessing the Ducks end up landing 2 to 3 big boy DTs + McGraw and possibly 1 or 2 out of S Oliver, SB Nelson and WR Worton. Sorry we lost Budda but he was hesitant, rarely had a smile on his face, and the Ducks are deep at both WR and DB so not as critical, esp. if Nelson commits. But even without him, Ducks have plenty of speedsters who can run and catch a ball. Here's to this turning out to be a very nice recruiting class indeed.
Wondering how this kid slipped through the cracks. Star rating? (Won't matter - just curious) Bring him on!!
@Jeezy333@DuckSportsNowI don't know what this post means. Did you drop your keyboard in the middle of a sentence?
@DougMai It wasn't a strong year for defensive tackles, which are always in short supply. The Ducks vigorously pursued every one of them but couldn't find a fit. It happens. This coaching staff is comprised of strong evaluators of talent, and already they are pursuing some top targets at the position for 2015.
@sozeduck I don't think they forgot to recruit them. They just haven't landed any at a very competitive position group with a limited supply. Ducks offered Rika Levi this morning, an indication that Trey L's probably going to LSU and Garnett to Texas.
@NormVanbrocklin He's unrated, not uncommon with Hawaiian players. If he commits to Oregon he'll be vaulted to a 2, 3. Wade Keliikipi was a 2-star, by the way.
@DrakeMallard It is. They are checking out his grades now.
@RHess Welcome, RH. Murmurings are that Trey Lealaimatafao favored his LSU visit, and they may not get him, which is a disappointment.
@rgyle Good analysis, Arg. There was definitely a brawn drawn in the 2013 class, and one way or another, the Ducks will have to address depth issues on the defensive line. The clock is ticking with 9 days to Signing Day.
@1971 duck grad Nice Animal House reference. We'll have to nickname Ratu "Pinto."
@Coastal Duck He's not rated which isn't unusual for island players, particularly late bloomers. Even Marcus Mariota was only a 3-star player coming out of St. Louis High.
@SonomaDuck SD, I am sorry. Linebacker coach Erik Chinander made the visit, and linebacker teammate Scott Pagano offered his comments on his former teammate, but Ratu is a big defensive tackle. I failed to give his position in the article, so it wasn't clear. Thanks for the heads up.
A strong close has been a hallmark for the Ducks in prior years. They're bringing in some great visitors for these last few weeks.