The Oregon Ducks have several experienced football players departing following the Rose Bowl game. Mario Cristobal and Co. made a big signing during National Signing Day when they pulled in Justin Flowe. This was a big pull considering he was being actively recruited by teams such as USC and Stanford. The days of the Trojans reigning the recruiting trail have diminished and the Ducks have become front runners. Oregon is becoming known for dipping into the California pipeline and convincing prospects to opt for Eugene.
Flowe is ranked the top inside linebacker according to ESPN, 247Sports, and Rivals. Oregon has a high standard when it comes to defensive domination. One of their biggest stars, Troy Dye, will be playing his final collegiate game at the Rose Bowl. An ultimate team captain, Dye has led the Ducks in tackles for several years as a cornerstone of the defense. Bryson Young will also be graduating after another stellar season on the field, finishing with the fifth-most tackles on the team.
While the Ducks have several young machines in the making, Flowe should be able to make a direct impact starting year one. Isaac Slade-Matautia is one of those machines who will return next season for his junior year, coming off a 54-tackle season, including 1.5 sacks. Flowe enters college with prototypical size at 6’-2” and 226 lbs. Compare him to Dye who stands at 6’-4” and 226 lbs. and Slade-Matautia at 6’-1” and 235 lbs. the Ducks really aren’t losing that much, minus experience.
The numbers Flowe put up in high school are staggering. He ended up with 434 tackles, 24 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and, perhaps the most impressive stat, 27 games with 10 or more tackles. If he can stay healthy, he will be a major addition to a Ducks defense that’s been reliant on guys who’ve stuck around all four or five years. If Flowe can make an early impact, the Ducks should be able to contend for the PAC-12 Championship again while wreaking havoc in the backfield.
One final thing to note. Even if Flowe doesn’t live up to the hype stealing a recruit rivals recruit is a beautiful thing. Especially in light of Helton’s recent struggles. The addition of Flowe is just another example of Oregon dominating the PAC-12.
Music, sports and family/friends fuel my life. Loyal son and forever true to ISU, but also go Ducks! College sports are better than the pros, but you’ll find me repping either Chicago or Denver based teams most of the time. Fingers crossed the Big 12 or PAC 12 breaks that Playoff barrier sooner rather than later.