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Analysis: Oregon Ducks making major recruiting push following big visitor weekend

OregonLive.com logo OregonLive.com 11/29/2021 Andrew Nemec, oregonlive.com

The Oregon Ducks hosted a collection of their top remaining targets in the class of 2022 over the weekend for their 38-29 victory over Oregon State, and there’s been some interesting chatter since.

Five-star offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr., elite edge-rusher Cyrus Moss and All-American Bowl wide receiver Darrius Clemons were all in attendance, as planned, and the recruiting developments are certainly intriguing.

Clemons, the top 2022 prospect in the state of Oregon, has been down to Oregon and Auburn for some time, but the Ducks have emerged as the clear favorite.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver out of Westview High School (Beaverton, Oregon), is still quite high on the Ducks and I still think that’s the landing spot. But he indicated Sunday that he may take a trip to either Michigan or USC ... if Lincoln Riley expresses interest.

Reading the tea leaves, I don’t see those possible visits as a major threat to Oregon atop his list.

Clemons said he intends to commit either on or before December 15 —the first day of the early signing period — and I feel, quite strongly, that it will still be an in-state commitment for him in the end.

Moss, the nation’s No. 27 overall prospect and No. 4 edge-rusher, is directly on the bubble for five-star status and would be among the top-rated defensive prospects in program history alongside Kayvon Thibodeaux (No. 1; 2019), Halolti Ngata (No. 2; 2002), Justin Flowe (No. 6; 2020), Noah Sewell (No. 13; 2020) and Canton Kaumatule (No. 17; 2015).

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound edge out of Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nevada), is down to a final three of Alabama, Arizona State and Oregon. But there’s growing buzz that the Ducks have established themselves as the favorite.

I already predicted “Moss to Oregon” months ago, and I see no reason to change that now.


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Could he surprise folks and end up elsewhere? Anything is possible in recruiting, but 100 percent of 247Sports’ predictions are in favor of the Ducks, and that aligns with what I’ve heard throughout his recruitment.

That’d be 2-for-2 for the Ducks, right?

As for the third major visitor, Conerly is the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 8 overall prospect.

He originally said he was visiting Oregon earlier this season, then decided he’d visit for the game against Oregon State, then told me he wasn’t sure he was going to check out Eugene at all.

Where is it now?

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive lineman out of Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, Washington), made the trip to Eugene this weekend and told me Sunday evening that he will make another trip to Oregon before Signing Day.

Two trips in the final month of the recruiting cycle is a good sign that Oregon is pushing heavily-favored Michigan.

Do I think the Ducks can pull it off? It’s an uphill battle, and Conerly has gone back-and-forth on his Oregon interest over the past few months. But if he takes that second trip, the Ducks will have a chance.

Barring actual (public) verbal commitments during the weekend visits, I’m not sure the news gets much better for Mario Cristobal and the Ducks right now.

They look to be in the driver’s seat for both Moss and Clemons, and Conerly plans to take another visit to Eugene before the early signing period window.

— Andrew Nemec | anemec@oregonian.com | @AndrewNemec

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