Oregon Senator calls out Helfrich on 2015 recruiting class

By EFN Staff
Published: 02/09/2015

Of all the critics to start slamming Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich over a recruiting class few would have thought Oregon state senator Peter Courtney would be one. The lack of Oregonians in the class is what bothers Courtney the most.

Courtney was open about his feelings to The Oregonian stating, “It bothers me. It just does for whatever reason. Are we to believe there’s not one high school senior who plays football in this state good enough for Oregon?”

The senator went on to add, “Helfrich grew up in Coos Bay. He went to Marshfield High. If anyone should get how important this is, it should be him.”

In defense of Helfrich, Oregon, a state of an estimated population of 3.9 million people is not typically known as a hotbed of recruiting talent. The 2015 recruiting class only had six players, at last count, sign with Division-I programs; 4-star athlete Cameron Scarlett to Stanford, 3-star offensive tackle Blake Brandel to Oregon State, 3-star offensive tackle Jared Hilbers to Washington, 3-star quarterback Eric Dungey to Syracuse, 3-star quarterback Cade Smith to Utah State, and 2-star defensive end Sione Kauhi to Hawaii.

Of the six that signed only Scarlett had an offer from Oregon.

To be fair, Oregon State only signed one in-state recruit, Brandel. Brandel has the frame at 6-foot 7-inches but is undersized at 260 pounds to be an immediate impact player for the Ducks. Bilbers is a big 6-foot 6-inch tackle as well but also undersized at 270 pounds. For whatever reasons dual-threat quarterbacks Dungey and Smith did not fit Helfrich’s mold to run the Ducks’ offense.

The breakdown of the 22 recruits from the 2015 recruiting class per state:
California – 10
Georgia – 2
Hawaii – 3
Louisiana – 1
Minnesota – 1
Missouri – 1
Tennessee – 1
Washington – 3

As luck would have it, the Ducks already have a verbal commitment from the top player in-state for the 2016 class, Central Catholic safety Brady Breeze.

Courtney is not too far off. The 2014 recruiting class only netted one in-state signee for the Ducks, tight end Henry Mondeaux from Jesuit High School in Portland. Stanford took the top linebacker, Joey Alfieri out of Jesuit, Arizona took the top wide receiver Southridge’s Jordan Morgan, and Arizona State took the top defensive end, Central Catholic’s Connor Humphreys. Oregon State signed just two, Tanner Sanders and Ryan Nall.

Photo credit: si.com; Mark Helfrich on the Oregon sidelines.