This week saw a subtle shift in the recruiting practices of the Oregon staff, as two separate recruiting news items showed the Ducks are more willing to play hardball in the recruiting wars.
Used to be, the Duck coaches, particularly under Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly, employed a “hands off” policy on prospects that were committed elsewhere. Oh, there were exceptions, but generally the coaching staff refrained from aggressively pursuing a player unless the student-athlete reopened his recruiting.
Not anymore, apparently. On Tuesday four-star quarterback Blake Barnett came to Eugene for an unofficial visit, and a day LATER Barnett announced via Twitter he was decommitting from Notre Dame.
On Friday, Top 50 junior college linebacker/defensive end Eddie Heard backed out of a May verbal commitment to Missouri and signed a financial aid agreement to come to UO. Several major Missouri newspapers, including the Kansas City Star and Columbia Daily Tribune had carried the story of his commitment to the Tigers on May 21st, announced by Heard, again on Twitter.
To read the rest of this story, visit my column at Duck Sports Authority.