A look at Oregon’s WR recruiting past and present


As DuckTerritory.com continues its deep dive into Oregon’s position groups heading into Spring football, today we look at the wide receiver room.

Oregon’s class of 2021 brought in arguably the best wide receiver recruiting haul in program history, as the Ducks landed signatures from Isaiah Brevard, Troy Franklin, and Dont’e Thornton.

The trio came into Oregon as four-star recruits, with Brevard being the lowest. That is no knock on Brevard, who finished as the No. 173 player according to 247 Sports composite, finishing as the No. 28 wide receiver in the country.

However, the gap in recruiting rankings between Brevard and Franklin/Thornton is too much to ignore. Thornton finished the recruiting cycle No. 57 overall, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings, while 247 Sports listed him at No. 75.

Standing 6-foot-5, Thornton had the ideal size and speed to become an impact freshman. However, the emergence of Devon Williams as Oregon’s true No. 1 wide receiver limited Thornton’s playing time.

Williams and Thornton are similar players. Both high-level recruits coming out of high school (Williams a borderline five-star) have similar body types (Williams is also listed at 6-foot-5) and could have similar career trajectories. Williams was terrific as Oregon’s go-to receiver down the stretch of the season, and Thornton will have a chance to make an impact in his sophomore season.

Thornton finished 2021 with nine receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He flashed big-time potential in Oregon’s bowl game, hauling in four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. The vertical threat Thorton can impose with his size and speed is highly appealing to a Ducks team in need of wide receiver depth and talent.

Speaking of talent, Thornton finished as the second-highest wide receiver in the 2021 recruiting class. The honor of highest ranked belongs to Franklin.

Franklin finished No. 41 in the composite and No. 54 in the top 247, earning near five-star status in both.

The talent translated to the collegiate level as Franklin finished with 18 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.

Franklin was listed as the starting wide receiver for Oregon’s opening game against Fresno State before suffering a lower leg injury that kept him on a rep count to open the season. Because of how deep Oregon’s wide receiver room was last year, Franklin’s opportunities for reps were hard to come by.

The Ducks returned four wide receivers from the 2020 season, headlined by Williams, Jaylon Redd, Mycah Pittman (a four-star WR recruit), and Johnny Johnson III. All four of those players will not be returning in 2022, nor did they play in Oregon’s bowl game against Oklahoma.

Like Thornton, Franklin excelled, catching four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks’ loss.

Returning alongside the three is Kris Hutson. A former four-star recruit in his own right, Hutson will come into 2022 as one of the most experienced wide receivers in the program as a sophomore.

Hutson has two years under his belt at Oregon, and when Johnson, Redd, and Pittman weren’t playing, he rose to the occasion. Hutson hauled in 18 catches in the final four games of the season, amassing 239 yards and two touchdowns, averaging over 13 yards per catch.

As Dan Lanning and new wide receiver coach Junior Adams have plenty of talent returning, the Ducks are always in the market for recruiting. So far, the Ducks have gone after plenty of wide receivers in the following few classes.

In the class of 2022, Oregon brings in just one wide receiver in Justius Lowe. Lowe, listed as an athlete on 247 Sports, will come in at Oregon to play wide receiver. Thanks to his size and valuable skillset, Lowe will provide depth and potential.

To add to a depleted wide receiver room, Oregon hit the transfer portal recently and landed Chase Cota. Cota, a member of the class of 2018, is an in-state prospect who once considered Oregon before the departure of Willie Taggart. Cota decided on UCLA, where he was productive when healthy. The senior hit the portal in January before deciding to go to Oregon this February.

Oregon has offered 13 wide receivers that Lanning has had as head coach for the Ducks in the last few months.

In the 2023 class, Adams and Lanning have offered Jalen Brown (Miami, FL), Jaden Greathouse (Austin, TX), JeyQuan Smith (San Bernadino, CA), Rashid Williams (Pittsburg, CA), Tyler Williams (Lakeland, FL), Lavon Brown (Las Vegas, NV) and Jordan Napier (Fontana, CA).

In 2024, the Ducks have offered five more prospects, including James Madison II (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Jack Ressler (Santa Ana, CA), Ryan Ringo (Saint Louis, MS), Micah Hudson (Temple, TX), Jordan Anderson (Long Beach, CA).

The lone offer, so far, to the class of 2025 is Isaiah Mozee (Lee Summit, MS).

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