College football’s national signing day is here.
Despite the NCAA enacting a recruiting dead period amid the COVID-19 pandemic since March, meaning recruits haven’t been able to take official visits, the early signing period has remained firm.
Oregon’s current status
Oregon’s current QB: Tyler Shough
The Pac-12 announced a new opponent for USC in the championship game on Monday, replacing Washington with Oregon after the Huskies informed the league that it will not be able to play on Friday.
“This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy and Football Championship Game policy due to Washington neither having the minimum 53 scholarship student-athletes available for the game nor the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes at a position group, in each case as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols,” the league announced in an official statement.
Oregon gets the nod to replace Washington as the team with the next-best record in the Pac-12 North. Oregon and Stanford are currently tied for second place with a 3-2 record, but the Ducks win the tiebreakers as a result of their head-to-head win in the first week of Pac-12 play.
Top247 announcement times
Four-star OT Savion Byrd (No. 62) — Committed to Oklahoma
Four-star QB Jaxson Dart (No. 103) — Committed to USC
Four-star CB Damarius McGhee (No. 185) — Committed to LSU
Four-star RB Donovan Edwards (No. 44) — Committed to Michigan
Four-star LB Xavian Sorey (No. 21) — Committed to Georgia
Five-star DT Maason Smith (No. 18) — Committed to LSU
Four-star QB Jake Garcia (No. 46) — 6:30 p.m.
Four-star RB Armoni Goodwin (No. 94) — 7 p.m.
Four-star DE Tunmise Adeleye (No. 37) — 8:30 p.m.
Miami Hurricanes: S James Williams, 6-5, 218, Plantation American Heritage
Alabama’s about to flip Jo Jo Earle from LSU
Jaedon Roberts flipping from Auburn to Alabama
Deion Sanders just flipped the No. 1 CB in JUCO CB De’Jahn Warren from Georgia to Jackson State. just pulled off a stunner and flipped ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bama flips pass rusher Keanu Koht from LSU
Jalen Milroe to Bama , flipped from Texas
BAMA-FLORIDA, 8PM CBS
BIG 10 – (14) NORTHWESTERN – (4) OHIO STATE
Chris: OH State, 55-13
(10) OKLAHOMA – (6) IOWA STATE, 12pm ABC
Chris: OK, 38-30
(3) Clemson – (2) Notre Dame, 4pm ET, ABC
Chris: CLEMSON, 34-31
ORE-USC – Levi Stadium 8pm ET, FOX
Chris: USC, 27-21
Favorite Christmas ornament
Tinsel- , Xmas Tree ornament- 33%, Mistletoe- 33%, Christmas stocking- 34%
Santiago Leon 0:13
The sports cast December 16 2020. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe in all our channels, Periscope, YouTube and Apple podcasts. And if you’re listening on Apple podcast, please leave a rating and a review, it will help us out tremendously. We’re also on online radio, you can listen to our radio on our app, the sports cast app for iPhone, or on our website, the sports cast dotnet. And website you can follow the latest in news and sports news of course corps college recruiting a big day for a lot of kids signing today. Anyways, you can check out our app on the App Store and also our website. This episode is brought to you by the sports cast app and definitely go download the app you get the notifications on the latest podcasts, like this one. And also listen to our radio 24 seven and read the latest news like going on in sports this fall. And I think I can’t wait for the spring. But because the NBA is coming. So things are gonna happen. Today we have a special guest all the way from the west coast Chris Courtney. He is a writer. He covers recruiting college football, he writes for the whole flock of ducks. And he’s a lot of experience a lot of knowledge when it comes to the PAC 12. And obviously, when you mentioned the ducks is yes, it’s the Oregon Ducks. Chris Courtney, welcome to the sports cast.
Chris Courtney 1:38
Thanks for having me.
Santiago Leon 1:40
So Chris, Courtney, I found you on Twitter because you’re pretty vibrant. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your website. Yeah, so
Chris Courtney 1:48
I watched whole flock of ducks back in 2018, before the 2018 college football season, and yeah, it’s been kind of a nice little side project that I’ve had in addition to a real job. But before that, you know, I covered Oregon recruiting covered Oregon football for scout.com and 24 seven sports for about five years order raised in Eugene and grown up around the the Oregon football program for for a very long time. And I’m still fairly plugged in in kind of attentive to kind of all the different things that are happening around the program both around the team and on the recruiting trail. So yeah, so right now it’s kind of in an amateur role. But it’s it’s certainly a passion project of mine and something that I’ve been really excited about over the last three years and how the site is grown.
Santiago Leon 2:46
Yes, here at the sports cast. We’ve been following Oregon’s especially lately with Justin Herbert, Mr. crystal ball, which is from Miami, and I’m, as well from Miami, um, tell the audience a quick, quick scenario. I mean, is this the Oregon duck? generation? I mean, obviously, yes. They haven’t won a national championship yet. But I mean, we’ve seen a project right in front of our eyes.
Chris Courtney 3:14
Yeah, I mean, I think you’re seeing kind of this program continually ascend here, you know, since the since the early 2000s. This has been a program that’s been kind of on the national radar. But I think you know, as as each year has come, kind of gone by at least as the decades have gone by. I think people have taken Oregon more and more seriously, as a power college football station. So you know, obviously with the chip tele years that that kind of took Oregon to another level from where they were previously under Mike bollati. And you’re seeing kind of the, the kind of the next phase in that development, I guess is Oregon kind of tries to emerge as a national championship contender under Mario crystal ball, you know, is going into or I guess his third season is about to end now you’ve seen what he has done on the recruiting trail. You saw what he did, in his second season as Oregon’s head coach winning Pac 12 championship and a rose bowl. You know, it’s it, the arrow is absolutely pointing up as in terms of this program. Now, it’s just kind of a matter of, you know, getting it done on the field. This year has not really gone too, according to script, I think for a lot of people, but I don’t think you know, 2020 is really has been has been kind of an unscripted year in general. So I think, you know, the ducks are trending in the right direction. I think a lot of people are excited about the direction of the program and kind of what is being built in Eugene at this time.
Santiago Leon 4:49
Now, of course, Oregon, was definitely a favorite for the PAC 12 as long I mean, I’m also with USC. They had two losses this year. past couple weeks Tell us what happened with those losses? Was it just a freak accident? Or it’s just the other teams were way better?
Chris Courtney 5:10
No, you know, it’s it’s certainly not a talent issue with this team I think is really what it comes down to is an experience issue. It is a leadership issue. It is a competence issue. You know, you look at Oregon’s roster and there’s no doubt that they have the players to stack up with anybody in the PAC 12 and a number of teams nationally, but they are also the you know, the other youngest team in FBS right now which you know, is kind of a crazy thing to think about when you think about the players that they returned on defense from from a year ago some of the players that they have coming back and running back and receiver But yeah, I mean, you kind of mentioned it a little bit at the top you know, Justin Herbert having to replace him you know, a senior quarterback with a guy who is first start team this year you’re replacing all five starters long the offensive line in fact, you’re replacing six guys that got regular time in the road offensive line rotation so that’s a huge thing. And then you know, you throw in the departure of guys on defense like Troy die Bryson young Lamar Winston, you know, you loose Javan Holland and Thomas Graham and Brady Brees to opt out and all sudden, your defenses has taken a hit there. And that was a unit that was maybe the strongest unit have any in the PAC 12 last year was that Oregon defense and that’s kind of what they leaned on to help them win a rose bowl. And so when you take, you know, all that into account, I don’t know if it’s necessary. I don’t think anybody in you know, around the Oregon program necessarily expected the ducks to lose to Oregon State. And Callum back to back weeks, I think you talk to anybody that’s, that’s, you know, seen as inexcusable. Those are inexcusable losses. But you kind of begin to understand that when you really look a little bit closer at the roster and kind of how things have been, you know, how things have been kind of going this year in general. And it’s tough, you know, they’ve managed to stay healthy, which is, you know, both in terms of football perspective. And in terms of COVID, which I think is it speaks to kind of the dedication, this team has to kind of doing all the right things and following protocol and all that stuff. But there’s no question that, you know, this has been a disjointed year for for the program, and for a lot of the players kind of stepping into new roles here in 2020.
Santiago Leon 7:33
What are your thoughts about the current quarterback replace?
Unknown Speaker 7:36
Santiago Leon 7:38
I know it starts with a with an S, I think it’s pronounced show are?
Chris Courtney 7:44
Yeah, Tyler shocked?
Santiago Leon 7:45
Chris Courtney 7:46
Yeah. You know, I, I think, you know, he’s, he certainly has shown glimpses of, you know, a lot of the talents that a lot of people thought that he had coming into coming into Oregon at high school, you know, he was a four star recruits coming out of Chandler, Arizona, which you know, that the program that he hails from Hamilton is a perennial power in in the, you know, it’s kind of the Phoenix metro area. So he has kind of a pedigree, he came in. And, you know, who was the understudy Justin Herbert for the last two seasons, got an opportunity to start this year. And I think, you know, he has had some growing pains, you know, he’s had some moments where he looks dynamic as both a runner and a thrower. But he also has moments where he gets a little bit scattershot, and you know, attacking downfield, doesn’t necessarily have the pocket presence of a season quarterback at this point. He’s been turnover prone, and he probably should have more turnovers to his name than he really does. He’s been lucky that he’s had a few interceptions dropped. So, you know, it hasn’t been the most efficient season for Tyler shock. And I think moving forward, you know, is depending on kind of how that you know, how the, you know, some of the incoming talent with the 2021 recruiting class, how that how they compete, are, I guess how Ty Thompson competes specifically because he’s the only quarterback coming in from 2020 how he competes with with shock and Jay Butterfield and perhaps even Anthony Brown, who’s a grad transfer from Boston College, who’s got the opportunity to stick around next season. You know, he’s going to be pushed and so it’ll be interesting to see how he plays in the USC game. I personally think that this is, in some ways kind of a make or break game for Tyler shot. I think he’s really got an opportunity to either solidify himself as kind of Oregon starter moving forward with the way that he plays or, you know, he could open the door for you know, other competitors to step in and potentially kind of knock him off, you know, QB one status on the Oregon depth chart.
Santiago Leon 9:54
Yeah, that was my next question. I know that Oregon had a good offseason, this past offseason. And they got a couple quarterbacks Who do you think will be the, like the quarterback for next season?
Chris Courtney 10:08
You know, I think until we see crystal ball and offensive coordinator Joe Morehead show a willingness to to pull Tyler shock and in. There have been instances this season where you can point to that, you know, they’ve maybe been with within the rights to do that. I think that this job is is probably Tyler shucks, moving forward. But I mean, let’s, let’s face it, I mean, if Oregon loses to USC, on Friday, and they lose in somewhat resounding fashion, I think you’re gonna start to hear more and more people kind of talk about making a change a quarterback and if that happens. You know, like I said, You’ve got Anthony Brown, who’s a grad transfer who’s got a lot of experience from his previous stint at Boston College. Jay Butterfield was a four star recruit in the 2020 recruiting class who is currently the Oregon’s third string quarterback and has been, has been impressing coaches, you know, over the course of the offseason and into this season. And then tie top tie Thompson is a guy that also is from Arizona, the same general area where Tyler shuck is from. He’s a player who’s on the verge of maybe earning his fifth star. If you depending on which, you know, recruiting rankings you subscribe to, he’s a player that’s going to be coming in with a lot of hype. He’s got a big arm as athletic. You know, he looks like a player who could potentially push for playing time as a true freshman next season. So, you know, it’s really kind of, I think, a lot hinges on Friday’s game. I really do. I think with a strong performance, I think shotgun can kind of solidify himself but if it’s a if it’s a shaky performance, you know, I don’t think there’s any guarantees, you know, heading into next season that he is for sure, the guy to lead this team on offense.
Santiago Leon 11:56
Oregon does have a quarterback pool. So they got a couple options if it’s Chuck, doesn’t that come through? as Chris mentioned, this Friday is the PAC 12 championship. It was originally Washington versus USC. Washington had a pull out because of COVID issues cases in Oregon luckily made it to the PAC 12 originally they were planning to have Oregon play Colorado for a third place game which I don’t never hear that in college football is typically a soccer thing. Chris Tell me your reaction and are you feeling lucky because this happened?
Chris Courtney 12:31
Well, I think that fans are are feeling somewhat charmed right now just because yeah, they they did really kind of stumble into this opportunity. I don’t think any you’ll find any Oregon fans Elise, you won’t be finding any sane Oregon fans that will be saying that they deserved this opportunity. I think based on the way that they have played particularly over the last two weeks. I don’t think you can say that. But Oregon also has you know, their opportunity as in Washington to kind of decided on the field taken away from them because of because of the outbreak within the Huskies program. And so so yeah, like I you know, I think I think you won’t find Mario crystal ball or any really anybody associated with Oregon, apologizing for the opportunity that they’ve been given. But I think everybody knows that, hey, this is not this isn’t a team that is that is playing its best football right now. In fact, if anything, they’re playing some of their worst football and you know, they’ve gotten worse as the season has gone on. And I don’t know if that’s, again, if it’s if it is a confidence thing or the lack of experience thing. But it’s become evident, you know, Tyler shucks a level of play has regressed over the last couple of weeks. Often some lines play has regressed over the last couple of weeks. The defense which has been kind of the you know, the whipping post for for a lot of people since the beginning of this season, they finally had a good game against towel but but you really don’t know what you’re getting from that group from week to week and in facing USC. You know, you’ve got a dynamic offense led by Keaton slovis and a host of receivers that that are going to give Oregon secondary fits. They’ve got an opportunistic defense. These aren’t necessarily things that are inspiring a lot of confidence if you’re a duck fan, looking ahead to this game and thinking okay, you know, what are Oregon’s chances? I think there’s there’s a lot kind of stacked against Oregon. I think they have the talent to win but they still have not played you know, them played anywhere near a complete game yet this season. So yeah, I don’t think anybody should have a ton of confidence if you’re if you’re an Oregon fan at this point. But it’s not like you know, USC has hasn’t been shown vulnerabilities of their own and they nearly lost at UCLA. They nearly lost at Arizona. They nearly lost two Arizona state. And so, you know, you can, you can kind of justify it and kind of rationalize it however you want. But the truth of matter is, at least, if you’re an Oregon fan, I think you you got to have legitimate concerns about what this team is going to look like when they’ve got, you know, this big opportunity before them because in truth, this is the biggest game that they they will have played this season.
Santiago Leon 15:24
And we’ll get to that prediction later in the show and love to hear it, which is interesting. I know, at the beginning of the season, we had an episode where we were saying I think USC couldn’t make it to the PAC 12 championship game. And he did, because they had a good good talent pool, obviously. But obviously, what I understand their front office is a little bit messy.
Chris Courtney 15:53
Santiago Leon 15:54
yeah. A USC or was that UCLA? I can’t remember which of the two.
Chris Courtney 15:59
Yeah, well, you know it as far as as far as USC goes, you know, Clay Helton has been kind of on the hot seat here for the last several seasons. Really, I mean, he I think you ask anybody who’s a USC fan or follows that program closely. It feels like clay Helton has kind of been a lame duck head coach. For the past few years, he has managed to hold on to his job. And I think you’d have to credit him for for being a survivalist and not in that way. And it looks like USC certainly a they they have not been performing as a program up to the standard that I think traditionally hasn’t been expected of them. They haven’t been the worst program in the PAC 12 I think many probably we would have expected, you know, expected them to be competing for more Pac 12 championships, or at least have more appearances in the PAC 12 championship game they have to this point. Look, they you know, they they are still one of the most talented teams in the conference. And you know, whatever, kind of screwing us or or, you know, dysfunction is going on behind the scenes within that program. They’ve managed at least this season, to put it together. They are undefeated, they’re you know, ranked 13th in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. They’re a team that, you know, is playing as good, if not better than any patchwall team out there right now. And so I think you’d have to respect that. And I think you have to go into this game. Knowing that hey, this, this USC team is is a team that is at least capable of doing something that I haven’t done yet. You know, under clay Helton and that’s that has performed really, really well have an undefeated season and I know it’s kind of has an Asterix next to it because of COVID but have an undefeated season and play have a chance to to play in a new year six bowl game. And I think you know what, however you feel about USC, that is the reality that is kind of facing them right now. And if they were to win on Friday, and then you know, earn that berth into your new year six bowl game, it’s hard to say that you know that they aren’t at least making progress to kind of returning to form we’ll see how how that plays out. You know, in the future. I don’t necessarily think that this season gets clay Helton off the hot seat. But it certainly buys him a little bit more time and a little bit more leeway with the new athletic director that they have there.
Santiago Leon 18:34
We’ll see what happens and we’ll predict this game a little bit later in the show. News. Yes, news this week. Auburn fire their coach Gus mazon and the first thing on Twitter was Mary crystal ball number one prospect to take over the Auburn team. I was thinking the same when I when I saw that news. organ fans I heard they were paying again. But Oregon is going or planning to have an extension with Mario crystal ball. Chris What have you heard? And as organ locked? Mario crystal ball?
Chris Courtney 19:15
Yeah, so I as of right now nothing official has has come down now that that could change. Literally at any given any given moment. I know that the Board of Trustees of the University has a meeting scheduled for I believe tomorrow Thursday so so I my guess is that that is essentially just going to kind of cross the T’s dot the i’s in terms of you know, approving this new extension for Mario crystal ball. I would expect once that extension is is kind of approved and confirmed. I would expect him to be the highest paid coach in the PAC 12. I would expect him to be a coach that is among the most hands Paid coaches in college football. And I would expect you know, kind of everything that has been built at Oregon since he is kind of ascended to the head coaching position. I would expect that to kind of continue going and that means I think the recruiting is going to is going to continue being at a strong and at high level, like it has been last three cycles. And I would expect that, you know, for for really kind of the momentum around the program to continue to kind of be rolling in a really positive way because Mario crystal ball has shown an ability to to kind of transform this program in a post Chip Kelly kind of Markel fridge era. I know a lot of people were concerned about that, you know, when chip tele left and was replaced by Mark helfrich, you know, how long they would really be able to, to kind of hold on to their place within, you know, the kind of the the hierarchy and cultural fall. And they certainly flipped in 2016 and kind of reemerged a little bit under Willie Taggart in 2017. But when Taggart left for Florida say I mean that was a real that was a big setback for for the program, just in terms of it kind of cuts the program down at the knees a little bit in terms of the recruiting class. You know, I think fortunately for them, they had somebody like Mario crystal ball already on staff, who has this reputation as a dog recruiter, he’s got head coaching experience. And he’s a coach that is highly respected by his, by his players, and they all push for him, they all basically petitioned for him to be the head coach. And so you have that kind of support within the program for a guy like that, and somebody who has kind of slowly but surely delivered on a lot of things that he has been promising. And if you’ve been touting i think that you know, seeing this extension come down whenever that is, I think if you’re a duck fan, you you feel really good about that. I think you you move forward now, knowing that you’ve got a coach that is being paid, what is you know, fair market value is and that you are going to have a guy in place who’s going to be able to work tirelessly to kind of keep this program at or near the top of the conference and, and competing. You know, I think for duck fans, hopefully, for college football playoff berths.
Santiago Leon 22:25
Yeah, Chris is absolutely right. When it comes to sports, business, things can change in the moment. I’m not saying the Auburn has a good chance. But hypothetically speaking, Chris, um, if mario did go to Auburn, do you think he’ll has the capability to be a Alabama and Nick Saban
Chris Courtney 22:47
was certainly familiar with, with the Alabama program, you know, he was an assistant coach there for four years. And, and I think, as he likes to, but he kind of learned graduate level football while he was at Alabama. And so I think 10 of his familiarity with the program helps his familiarity with the SEC, in terms of the competition a sec, both on and off the field for recruits. He gets that, and I think he would be able to hold his own against anybody in the sec, just based on the way that he kind of approaches, recruiting. But I mean, let’s, let’s face it, you know, Auburn is the second, you know, second fiddle program. In the state of Alabama. When you look at kind of the landscape in the sec, it’s Alabama, it’s LSU. It’s Georgia, Florida, Auburn is is kind of in that conversation, too, but a little bit further down on the list. And so, you know, I think he would have some success there. Would he have more success, then? Gus malzahn? I, I’m not confident in that being the case. And if you are in Mario crystal balls position, you know, kind of how things work at Auburn when when the team starts to slip a little bit. You know, your job, you know, certainly becomes a popular topic of conversation, you know, two, three years in and, you know, you still haven’t gotten all, you know, all of your players into the program yet. It’s a lot of stress. And it’s a lot of it’s a lot to, to deal with, as a coach who, you know, has young children has, you know, has a young family. And, you know, again, he’s been in the state of Alabama before, but, you know, kind of picking up and having to figure out what your next move is after potentially failing at a place like Auburn. I think that’s something that you have to kind of consider when you’re in his position, you’re considering what your options are, I think. I think if you were to give people kind of close to Mario Cristobal truth serum, I think they would probably tell you that a lot of this flirtation with Auburn was mostly to Get a new contract kind of solidified with Oregon. I think that’s he was using that as leverage and and kudos to him for doing it. I think, you know, you know, I think the plan was to have him be extended in terms of the contracts, you know, before the pandemic hit. And then once it came to my kit that put things on hold. And so this is a little bit of a long time coming for him. But, you know, with that said, You know, I think if, you know, if he were to genuinely be considering Auburn, I think those are some of the things that you would have to consider because I don’t, I don’t think you can expect to walk into that program, and necessarily, you know, be churning out 10 win seasons, year over year. From the jump, I just don’t think that that’s a realistic expectation that, that you, you know that you need to have, at least as the guy that’s taking over for a head coach, he desnos on who, you know, at least as an assistant, as appeared in two national championship games. He has won sec championships, Auburn, you know, he is he’s gotten that program, taking that program to heights that, you know, that aren’t seldom seen at all, or that are seldom seen at Arbor, Auburn, I should say. So that’s the guy got a lot of success. And so if you think that you’re going to have more success than him, you’re probably looking at it pretty optimistically. And, look, you’ve got all these coaches have egos. But I think that, you know, at the end of the day, you have to be kind of real with yourself. And I think, I think Auburn is is a fine job. And I think that whoever it takes over that job is is going to have a an opportunity to do some special things there. But the reality is the reality and you you got Alabama is your main rival, and you’ve got to go through them every single year to even have a chance of coming out of the SEC West. That’s a pretty that’s a pretty tall hill to climb. So
Santiago Leon 26:59
yeah, and I was, you know, speaking to you before, and been telling everyone I think Mario has a great project going on with Oregon, and I think leaving now be like leaving it halfway. And I think he has something special and I and I could definitely see bigger things with Oregon, obviously, you know, going to the playoffs, obviously, winning a Natty so I I hope he stays in Oregon, which is which I’m pretty much at 90% sure, to be honest, they will stay and of course, you can’t beat alliston Stadium and, and the Nike brand, but as beyond my point, um, today was national recruit. Today, a lot of the high school players signed letters of intent. Chris, tell us how did Oregon do and the rest of the PAC 12?
Chris Courtney 27:50
Well, for Oregon, and you know, this is this is by Well, I would say by far, but this is their their highest rated class in program history. I mean, you just look at the commitments that they they have in the ad, you know, the guys that they signed, they signed 20 prospects today, of those 2016 players or four star rated recruits, there isn’t any five star rated recruits, at least not at this point in this class, but you know, 16, four star recruits, that’s more than any, any program in the entire country. Now, obviously, some of those programs, sign, you know, multiple five star recruits, but just in general, it really goes to show you kind of the level at which this program is recruiting right now. And kind of a talent that is coming in. It’s you know, I think it is the third or the fourth year in a row that we’re in its classes been top rated in the PAC 12. Which is really saying something and so yeah, I think at this point, you know, if if you’re an Oregon fan, and you’re kind of looking ahead here and projecting forward was, you know what this recruiting class could do. And right now they sit at six nationally right now that could go up depending on some of the guys that signed but I mean, you have to feel very, very confident in what they’ve done, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I kind of mentioned Ty Thompson, who is you know, one of the better, more highly rated quarterbacks, I should say in the entire country. He kind of headlines that group to a little bit to a degree but really the other I think there’s three guys that I think you have to mention as kind of the crown jewels of this recruiting class with Oregon. This Troy Franklin, a four star receiver from the Bay Area, had offers from everybody nationally, and then Kingsley Sewell matea, who is a four star left tackle from the state of Utah. He is, again similar to to Franklin and some of these other recruits that were inside, you know, had offers from the Alabama’s and Georgia’s in Florida, you know, from the top programs in the country in Oregon landed him. You know, he’s got a close relationship with the Sewell family in a civil was a was someone He was working out with Kingsley a lot during the offseason. He’s Kingsley’s a former high school teammate, of Noah soul who’s you know, arguably even as a freshman, one of the Oregon, one of Oregon’s top defensive players this year. So there’s a lot of ties there, between between zoom and Tia in Oregon. And, you know, just in general, I think that you really want to focus in on one area that that offensive line class that they signed was, it is among the best in the country. And you know, I don’t know if you would rank it number one thing Alabama has done some nice things there this year for sure. But when you when you couple assume at CEA, with with somebody like Bram Walden who’s I believe he’s the second rated recruit in the state of Arizona. By the way, Oregon science six players who were rated number one, in their respective states, six players were rated as the number one recruit. So kind of again, it goes to show you kind of the strength program there in that regard. But as far as offensive line goes, Yeah, Bram Walden is a tremendous prospect four star recruit. Jonah Miller is another prospect from the state of Arizona who’s a four star recruit at a Tucson and then Jackson light who is, I believe, right behind Kingsley sumati is number two rated recruit in the City, Utah, one of the top center prospects in the country. That’s that’s the unit in anytime that you are kind of led by Mario crystal ball, you have kind of his imprint on this team, you know that the offensive line is going to be a major point of emphasis. And so they’ve definitely done that this year. They you know, they sprinkled in some some really highly touted receivers, Troy Franklin, like I mentioned Dion, or excuse me, Dante Thornton, as another kid from Baltimore, four star recruit, I think, is the sixth rated wide receiver in the country. The two tight ends that have gotten Maliki Montevideo and Terrence Ferguson, probably the two top tight ends on the west coast, this cycle. So yeah, I mean, any way you slice it, there’s this there’s a lot to be kind of optimistic and pleased with. If you’re an Oregon fan, or just somebody who is observing kind of recruiting this year, you really see what Oregon has done. And it can’t help but just kind of be surprised, or at least a little bit impressed with what they’ve done.
Santiago Leon 32:23
And of course, there’s another signing period, I believe is in February. How’s that looking for that month?
Chris Courtney 32:31
Yeah, so I you know, I think, at least as far as whoring goes, there’s a few guys out there that they are still kind of pursuing a couple kind of highly touted guys, one is forestar. Corner car right from Southern California. I know that he is considering USC and Arizona State. those are those are two programs that I think have maybe have a little bit of an edge on Oregon right now. And the other one is one of the highest rated recruits in the country who has yet to sign. And that is JC to allow from the Seattle area. You know, he he in Korea foreman, we’re kind of going back and forth in terms of who’s only top press prospect on the west coast, but maybe the top prospect in the entire country, or he is in that mix, too. But Alabama and Ohio State, you know, they are they are probably the Favorites right now, for him, USC is kind of lingering to Washington is is kind of in the mix, too, though, I think you’d probably have them a little bit lower down on that list compared to some of these other schools. So, you know, Oregon is going to have a chance to kind of make up some ground, I think, you know, of course, winning on Friday would be huge, and winning a bowl game would would do something for them. But you know, Oregon’s got its work cut out for them, if they want to improve on this on this recruiting class they have they want to do so and kind of a dramatic way. You know, they’re going to have to win some of those battles here. Going into February and even beyond, you know, the transfer market is going to be a big a big thing this season. I know that I think a lot of people are expecting there to be kind of a record number of transfers this year. So there’s gonna be opportunity for Oregon to kind of acquire more talent between now and the start of the 2021 season. But, you know, the rest of Pac 12 is is you know, catching up a little bit, you know, you look at USC S Class. They have they did much better this year than they did last year. You know, they in fact stole you know, use that loosely didn’t really steal but they were able to flip a commit that was formerly an Oregon commit kyron where Hudson is for sports, our receiver from modern day High School in Southern California, that traditionally has been a kind of a USC stronghold. But in recent years, Oregon’s had a lot of success there and so USC flipped kyron where Hudson they’ve got Miller moss and Jackson Dart. Two quarterbacks committed to this class. Julian Simon is as another highly touted prospect from from Washington. So USC has done some things the cycle that they did not do last time they finished dead last in the PAC 12 last cycle, which is unheard of. So you look at some of the things that they’re doing he look at some of the things that Cal is doing. I think a lot of people are kind of overlooking the job that Justin Wilcox did this year, I think he assembled a pretty solid recruiting class for Cal standard. So there’s definitely some progress being made in the PAC 12. And in relation to that, but right now, Oregon is
Santiago Leon 35:30
I think, solidified themselves as kind of the clear cut top program, at least in terms of recruiting in the PAC 12. Mr. Crystal Ball flexing his muscles when it comes to recruiting definitely being the standout any any rumor mill, when it comes to the transfer? area?
Chris Courtney 35:49
You know, at this point, I think it’s a little bit too early to tell, I would, I would assume that Oregon will be a player in that regard. You know, they’re going to have some openings, but it’s going to be really interesting to see kind of how schools across the country kind of manage the rosters and kind of the the scholarship limit here. At last check, you know, there hasn’t been any kind of extension or additions to kind of the 85 man scholarship limit that’s currently in, in place by the NCAA. And so there’s gonna be a lot of programs that are going to have to navigate, navigate that there’s, you know, this year has been essentially a free year for, you know, for everybody playing a fall sport. So that includes football. So guys that are currently seniors this year, have the opportunity to come back next season. And so I think we’re gonna see some guys take advantage of that. And that’s probably going to take away some some, you know, potential open spots that might be out there for potential transfers, but at this stage, I just think it’s a little bit too early to tell, you know, what could happen on the on the transfer market? Think, you know, just kind of half is going to have to see how it plays out. And who really makes themselves available kind of during this offseason.
Santiago Leon 37:03
And there you have it, Chris Courtney, fleshing this out what’s happening in Oregon, it feels like I was just in Eugene right now. And getting the scoop at file. I was gonna say at a sports build, so in or at a sports newsletter, a duck’s newsletter or something, but there you have it. Anyways, anything else before we head into college football championship? predictions?
Chris Courtney 37:29
No, that’s, that’s pretty much all I got. I think, again, if you’re an Oregon fan, I think there’s a lot to be lots to be pleased with. In terms of this recruiting class, we’re breaking him down on on whole block index.com. We’ll have some some stories up there tomorrow kind of addressing some of what Oregon did. But I think in general, you have to be really excited about kind of the direction the program right now.
Santiago Leon 37:53
Yeah, Oregon is definitely and like you were saying, you know, Pac 12 is catching up when it comes to recruiting, you know, even though they’re out in the West area. And people say like the people in this, like the schools in the south get like the great talent, but hey, there’s some talent everywhere. And if you can get some like an idea, like the southeast or anything, there’s always other opportunities elsewhere. I know that I believe crystal ball has done recruiting in Hawaii and also Samoa, I’ve been hearing that but that’s a whole different podcast to talk about. Um, predictions. Are you ready?
Chris Courtney 38:32
Santiago Leon 38:33
Let’s start with a big one. Alabama vs. Florida SEC championship game.
Chris Courtney 38:40
Yeah, you know, I think that, you know, Florida the season that they’ve had this year, it’s been impressive and you know, they’ve got to the two losses but I think that they’re they’re far more competitive than they’ve been in previous years when they made it to the SEC championship. But at the end of the day, I think this is this is this is Alabama’s game to win. You know, I expect them to put up you know, anywhere between you know, 3542 points, something like that. I see them scoring big scoring often. Florida’s defenses has not been the stingiest unit you’re going up against if you’re if you’re a gators fan you you’re looking at alabamian and all the weapons that they have on the offensive side of the ball and you’re wondering how you’re going to stop the vontae Smith and Matt Jones and not a Harris so I think they’ve got their work cut out for him I think Alabama wins fairly comfortable I’m thinking something like 42 to 24 or something along those lines.
Santiago Leon 39:36
Yeah, I was Florida last skins LSU my hopes for that to be a close game. Maybe not. It’s gonna happen but and then an Alabama has been really picking out a good time right now so and has a Heisman candidate vontae Smith, so things are looking good for the Alabama squad. Let’s go for the big 12 Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
Chris Courtney 40:00
Yeah, that’s a game. I think that might be one of the more intriguing games of kind of the weekend when you when you look at the two teams, you know, I was they’ve had a lot of success against Oklahoma the past few years. They are in a position where things can break their way I would say could could maybe find themselves in the college football playoff one since we can kind of kind of comes to a close and so so but I think with that said, I, you know, I like the way the Alabama or excuse me, the Oklahoma has been playing here recently. Thanks, Spencer rattlers kind of starting to settle in a little bit. And, you know, you still make some, some freshman mistakes and some mistakes that I think Lincoln Riley would probably him rather not make. In terms of his decision making. But, you know, Oklahoma’s got a ton of weapons. I think they’ve got a lot to play for in this game. I don’t think they want to lose. You know, for a second time, I was saved this year. So I think kind of with that motivation factor kind of playing into it. And kind of the way that Oklahoma has approved kind of over the, you know, this last half of the season, I expect the Oklahoma to win. I think it’s gonna be close game. You know, I think Oklahoma wins something in tune of 38 to 30. Somewhere in that neighborhood. That feels about right, in terms of that the big 12 championship.
Santiago Leon 41:26
I do agree. I think Aloma definitely wants this um, Clemson vs. Notre Dame another big game. Can we see Notre Dame beating Clemson again?
Chris Courtney 41:37
Yeah, I mean, I think this is this is the game of the weekend. Right. I mean, it’s, you look at Clemson, they they’ve got Trevor Lawrence available for this game, they didn’t have him the first time that they played Notre Dame. I think that last a Notre Dame was kind of revealing a lot of ways for Clemson. They got out physical by Notre Dame, which, you know, when you look at the talent, and kind of the the players that are there on that Clemson side, I just don’t you just don’t hear that happen very often. So I think that there’s there’s a there’s a major motivating factor here for Clemson to win this game, I think Notre Dame is is, you know, as physical and it’s, it’s equipped to kind of handle Clemson as they’ve proved earlier this year. But I think kind of similar to what Oklahoma has going against Iowa State in the big 12 championship. I think that that Clemson has that similar type of motivation. That similar kind of fire in their belly to win this game, is to take the acc championship and to kind of solidify their place in the college football playoff. And it’ll be interesting to see kind of what happened, the whatever the whatever the outcome of this game is, it’ll be interesting to see kind of how the, the cultural playoff committee kind of interprets that and whether or not you know, say Clemson wins and Notre Dame is, you know, is handed that loss, I think they still have a great claim to be in the playoff. And so it’ll be it’ll be very interesting. I think Clemson wins I prediction thing is probably ends up being a little bit more low scoring than the first time around. I’m thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 3431 3431
Santiago Leon 43:25
bytes total, probably. Um, lastly, probably the Game of the Week in the West Coast, of course, Oregon versus Washington and Levi’s Stadium, probably no fans, I imagine. Break it down, Chris.
Chris Courtney 43:42
Yeah, you know, I think from the Oregon perspective, I think it’s it’s really comes down to you know, it sounds it’s gonna sound really simple, but it’s just like, Can your defense make SOPs? And can they not only necessarily make stops but I think forced turnovers that this has been a season in which the Oregon defenses has been really bad about forcing turnovers I think, in all the one game this season they have, they have zero takeaways. And one game where they did have a takeaway they had for against UCLA, that’s the only game that they they were able to kind of turn the opposing team over and so I think it’s gonna come down to can they force us the offense into mistakes? Can they limit them? In in turn, can Oregon offense figure out a way to not turn the ball over can Tyler shuck play composed in the offensive line get into a rhythm and start opening holes for the running game? TJ verdelho stratis die, Cyrus a BB leak? Yo, I think, you know, those opportunities can be there, you know, in terms of, you know, I got done saying that. USC is one of the more opportunistic defenses in the PAC 12. But, in general, you know, they’re kind of middle of the road in terms of limiting opponents on the ground and through the air. So I think there’s going to be some opportunities for Oregon to, to kind of take advantage but you know, I don’t think there’s any been anything that if you’ve been following the Oregon program program closely, I don’t think there’s anything that has occurred, you know, the last two, three weeks, that would give you some sort of expectation that all that’s going to change, you know, maybe they they come out a little bit more fired up and a little bit more motivated because they’re playing into USC, because there’s so much familiarity between these two programs in terms of the the players that are on the, you know, each roster, I think that you’re going to have maybe a little bit more kind of spice in that regard. But, you know, if I if I had to make a pick here, I would be inclined to pick USC, I think it’s actually gonna be a very close game. I think it’s going to be very competitive. But in the end, I see UFC squeezing it out. I see a 2721 victory for the Trojans.
Santiago Leon 46:02
Wow, USC that is definitely unbiased score. I like that. Hey, you know, just this is reality. Can’t avoid it. And if I had to correct myself, I think I might have said Washington is USC versus Oregon. I apologize. Washington was gonna play but they had COVID issues and Oregon slipped in. Um, but yeah, USC 27 and 21. Should be a good game. All the games were pretty good, but to be honest, and of course there’s other conference games that were going on throughout the day, but these are the games people will be eyeing on and of course on Sunday College Football Playoff committee will decide the final fate the last the four spots for the college football playoffs, looking forward to it which will which will be having a big show at 3pm. Eastern hosted by Nick Rosetti. And with George Dixon. I mean, with Mr. Dixon Tyler turned to Justin Riley and Ken doble from West Coast. CFPB, which I’m not sure if Chris knows, can’t double.
Chris Courtney 47:03
Not familiar No,
Santiago Leon 47:04
no. Yeah, he writes for West Coast CFPB college football. And he writes of course a lot of things with with Pac 12. And the size of leaves the sky league. I don’t don’t quote me on that because it’s a it’s a smaller league. Anyways, random poll question on Twitter. Chris, what is your favorite Christmas ornament? And the options are the Christmas tree ornament. The standard one on the tree the ball? mistletoe? Christmas stocking, or like utensil? What is your favorite? Wow,
Unknown Speaker 47:37
Chris Courtney 47:40
We have we have a we have a glaring omission there. I feel like you know what? no love for the angel on top. On top of the tree.
Santiago Leon 47:47
You could put that other Yes, you could write that down.
Chris Courtney 47:50
I mean, I think I think I feel like that’s, you gotta have you gotta have something that tops your tree. So all that stuff is is good. But I think that, you know, kind of the the cherry on top, if you will, it’s got to be that angel or whatever. I know people like to get creative with that too. So I think I think that’s probably my favorite. You know something?
Santiago Leon 48:12
Yes, that I should have my sportscast committee decided these options. But hey, that’s a good one. And I’ll probably have until next year because we only do these questions once. Once a year. But yeah, Christmas is coming up next week. And of course before Christmas are the college football championship games and things like that. Chris Courtney, tell us a little bit about your site and what is the best way to reach you?
Chris Courtney 48:39
Yes, so yeah, in terms of in terms of our website, go to a whole flock of ducks.com. Like I said, we’ve been kind of up and running since 2018. And in we cover everything kind of going around, you know, the Oregon football program. It’s team team related analysis is recruiting analysis, we really kind of pride ourselves on on trying to give kind of an honest and real look at everything that is going on with with the Oregon football program so you can find us a whole flock of ducks calm. You can find us on Twitter at underscore wf OD you can follow me at c c squared 02 on Twitter, a lot of different ways to get in touch with us if you’re interested in renown, a lot of our content,
Santiago Leon 49:27
check out whole flock of ducks if you’re a fan of the dogs recruiting. Chris has years of experience analyzing college football and also recruitment especially in the PAC 12 section. Very talented and of course you can reach us at the sports cast dotnet this force cast dotnet we’ll be we’ll be analyzing what happened today during during like the whole college football recruitment and like which players signed with who and things like that. Looking forward to it and then tomorrow and then tomorrow. We have Victor roadshow. And the show. Jones. Enter roadshow, they’ll be talking a little bit about NBA. And of course, James Harden made his appearance look a little bit overweight. I mean, I imagine Chris saw that a little bit last night.
Chris Courtney 50:16
Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know if it was just a bad angle. Or I know, I know, Jane. I know James is a he’s been enjoying the offseason and I’m not sure he’s the most motivated to play for the Rockets right now. But it’s funny, you know, I’m, you know, in a fantasy fantasy Basketball League and talking to somebody who say, Oh, do you want to take your you know, you’re interested in taking heart number one, I was like, Man, you know, I don’t I don’t think I’m touching James Harden this year. It just seems like there’s there’s too much kind of going around him in terms of you know, is he gonna stay in Houston? If he’s going to be in Houston? how unhappy is he going to be I just feel like this is gonna be kind of a weird season for for James Harden, we might not necessarily see the most consistent or the best version of James Harden this year. But but I’m excited for the NBA season. it’ll, it’ll be nice to see. It feels like they just they just got done crowding the Lakers as a champion, but they’re back at it. And I’m very interested to see how they manage things. Not being in a bubble this year. Hopefully everything goes well for them and able to get a full season in without too much disruption.
Santiago Leon 51:28
Absolutely great to see the team’s back in their own stadium playing in their own stadium. It feels like you know, my thing with the whole COVID thing that therapeutics I think we got this, you know, in control better than it was months ago. And remember, remember audience this Sunday at 3pm. Eastern, we have in our big college football show, hosted by Nick Rosetta, we’ll have the sports cast team analyzing the playoffs and looking for what’s going to happen and predictions and things like that. So a lot things going on in football, of course, the NFL week, 15 or 16. This weekend, so a lot of things are closing down. A lot of teams are trying to make that last playoff spot, really exciting. And then of course, we got Christmas. So we got going on this this month, but really blessed really grateful. And and something that Chris said earlier before the show, hey, I rather have something than nothing. Yeah, I know, there’s a lot of Asterix out there. And especially in college football where things a little bit fragmented Pac Man, Pac 12, and big 10 starting a little bit later. And that, you know, affecting some things occasionally like the rules as well, you know, hey, Ohio State made it in to the which we didn’t predict actually, Northwestern versus Ohio State. Chris, who do you got? Sorry about that
Chris Courtney 52:44
request reversal asked? I think I mean, it’s great that Northwestern is able to take it to the big, big 10 championship game. I personally don’t think they stand much of a chance against Ohio State. I think kind of the biggest question going into Selection Sunday with the college football playoff committee is determining what to do with Ohio State in relation to kind of everybody else and so I would expect the Ohio State to win that game when it pretty handily, despite some of the you know, the interruptions that they’ve had with their own season. Looking for a score. I think that I think Ohio State’s looking to prove a point in this game not really unlike what happened in 2014 2015 when they just beat the brakes off of off of Wisconsin. So I think I think looking for a score prediction. I think Ohio State wins 5513 something along those lines. I think it’s going to it’s going to get ugly in Indianapolis,
Santiago Leon 53:51
trying to finish off with a bang to prove the college football playoff committee. Hey, we belong in the top four at a certain degree. Anyways, this is the sports cast a great night with Chris Courtney. Great show Chris, thanks for coming on.
Chris Courtney 54:06
Anytime, appreciate it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.