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January 30, 2011With national letter-of intent day drawing near, Portland's flagship sports radio station 95.5 The Game spoke with Duck Sports Authority's publisher A.J. Jacobson about the upcoming signing class.
Portland's 95.5 The Game: What makes this class so good?
AJ: With this class it's really a top-to-bottom type of class. At the very top in terms of ranking, you've got Hillsboro's Colt Lyerla who is a five-star recruit and one of the Rivals100 top recruits in the nation. He's ranked number 26. But the thing with the Ducks' class and the reason they're up at number eight is even the number 23 recruit is a very good football player. Everyone has at least three stars. It's all between three and five stars and it's mostly a bunch of four and three star really excellent football players that the Ducks are bringing in. That's what's driving this high ranking for them right now.
The Game: You mention Colt Lyerla. Where do you think Chip Kelly will end up playing him?
AJ: It's almost the toss of a coin with Colt because he has the skill set that can go on either side of the ball and be an effective Division I football player. To me, I would like to get Colt Lyerla on the field as soon as possible. The route to that to me is special teams and hence defense. If he were at tight end I think he would be waiting a year or two. The Ducks are all set with David Paulson next year and they've got Curtis White in the wings who is an excellent tight end. I would wonder when Colt would break through to the lineup. Defense seems to be the quickest way to get a guy like Lyerla on the field and that's why for me, I would probably go with defense for him.
The Game: What can you tell us about Jared Ebert, the 6-foot-5, 285 pound defensive tackle from Iowa Western Community College?
AJ: Yeah that's a good question Jason because when you are looking at the classes, most kids are going to redshirt. You're not going to talk about them next year for next year's title run the Ducks are going to try to pose. You're really talking the year after that. But a guy like Jared Ebert who is a junior college transfer going to be here in the spring, he's got a real legitimate shot at contributing to the Duck football team next year. He's a guy that is rated as a four-star, he's an extremely enthusiastic Duck. I spoke with him yesterday and he has no regrets whatsoever about committing to the University of Oregon. He already has a signed letter-of-intent, the only guy in the whole class who has actually signed on with the Ducks already in terms of his signature. He'll be here for the spring, he's extremely excited to be a Duck. That's the kind of guy fans want here, a guy who really, really wants to be a Duck. And he's at a position of need. Defensive tackle is exactly where the Ducks need to shore up. He'll remind a lot of people of Brandon Bair in my opinion. He's a long-armed young man with a great attitude. I'm looking forward to him entering the mix this spring.
To hear the balance of the interview, click this link: Audio of 1-29-11 Interview on 95.5 The Game
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