Enrolling early is a major advantage for recruits who are mentally ready to skip their final semester of high school and begin a college curriculum and weight training program. Additionally, enrolling early allows the recruit to become acclimated with the program and participate in spring practice -- a major leg up on the other incoming players who must wait until the summer to start school.
Oregon is welcoming three early enrollees for the 2014 recruiting class, which consists of 17 players at the moment, including eight talented four-star players.
Haniteli Lousi, a four-star guard recruit out of the College of San Mateo (Calif.), has a short time to play at Oregon because of the time he spent at junior college, so enrolling early will be a big help in his quest to earn a starting position. He checks in at an imposing 6'5, 295 pounds. Lousi chose Oregon over offers from Arizona State, Colorado and a handful of other west coast programs. He should provide immediate help along the offensive line. Lousi was rated as the No. 1 guard and the No. 20 junior college player nationally. Ducks fans are excited to add the big man to their up-tempo attack.
Lousi will be joined in Eugene by Tui Talia. Talia is an impressive defensive end recruit out of Diablo Valley College. He is rated three stars by the 247Sports composite -- a combination of the four major recruit rating services -- and is rated the No. 4 JUCO defensive end recruit nationally. He also held offers from a handful of lesser programs all across the country, including Hawaii, Kansas and South Florida. After originally committing to Washington, Talia flipped his pledge to the Ducks in June.
Still to come
Oregon also holds non-binding verbal commitments from several star recruits it hopes to sign on February 5, National Signing Day.
The best of the unsigned commitments for Oregon is probably Royce Freeman, a fringe five-star running back recruit out of Imperial High School (Calif.). Freeman, 5'11 and 215 pounds, chose UO over offers from the who's who of college football, including Alabama, Florida State, Stanford and UCLA. He is the No. 50 prospect nationally and the No. 8 running back in the 2014 class. Here is SB Nation's scouting report on Freeman.
On tape, Freeman breaks his share of long runs, but that likely won't translate to college considering the level of his current competition. That said, he's effective in space due to his great body control and ability to redirect his momentum cleanly. And, unlike a lot of big backs, he doesn't need to gather his frame prior to changing direction.
On the defensive side of the ball, Arrion Springs is a fringe five-star cornerback recruit out of Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, Texas. At 5'11, 192 pounds, Springs is the No. 62 prospect nationally and the eighth-best cornerback in 247Sports' composite rankings. He chose the Ducks over Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma and others. SB Nation scouted Springs last year.
Some defensive back coaches prefer big, strong, physical safeties. For those who prefer more scheme versatility, players like Springs become top targets. Capable of running the alley in run support and manning up on the best receivers from other teams, the San Antonio product as the overall speed to play cornerback in college, though his technique, particularly his footwork, needs some refinement.
Remaining targets -- Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst
Oregon has been targeting New Orleans John Curtis School safety Mattrell McGraw for quite a while, and the four-star seems to be favoring the Duck. But Texas A&M and UCLA won't give up without a fight, and UO must keep the pressure on