Getting to Know the 2011 Duck Newcomers

Getting to Know the 2011 Duck Newcomers

zz Duck Stops Here

Getting to Know the 2011 Duck Newcomers


It’s a scene as American as well, America.  Norman Rockwell immortalized it in a 1954 painting, “Breaking Home Ties.”  A young man packs his suitcase and loads up his second-hand car or gets on the bus or the plane and heads out for school.  His mother can’t keep the tears out of her eyes, her heart filled with pride and sorrow and uncertainty.  Her baby boy, a hundred or a thousand or two thousand miles away.  The old man waits on the porch or the fender, not saying much, wistful, proud, a little broken deep within knowing his son is going into a world that he never experienced, that the bond between them, while strong, will be shaken by time and experience.  He knows that he doesn’t have the words or the wisdom for a time like this, so he waits for the mother to finish her tearful goodbyes and start up the rig.  The boy wouldn’t listen right now anyway.  He’s too brimming with hope and wonder, with the sense of himself almost being a man on his own.

This week, 22 mothers will say good-bye to their sons, entrusting them to our care as a community.  The members of the 2011 Oregon recruiting class are about to officially become Ducks, committing themselves to a five-year adventure, the opportunity to test themselves against the best college athletes in the world, in the most difficult and violent game in the world.  They’ll face temptations, challenges and setbacks.  They’ll grow.  They’ll hurt.  They’ll fail.  They’ll achieve unbelievable things and receive accolades and notoriety.  For many of them, their families will be long distant and almost unreachable, and the ache they feel for the comforts of home will surprise them.  In other moments they’ll not be able to stretch their eyes or their heart wide enough for what they are about to be a part of.

They are now Ducks.  They are ours, as we come to know them and witness their accomplishments and struggles, we have a moral obligation to consider that they all came from somewhere and belong to somebody, and in the moments they fail as athletes we must never forget that.

Over the next few days we’ll be compiling profiles of each of the new players, and as the profiles expand each picture and name will link to their individual story.  Here are the 2011 Ducks, the new recruiting class that reports to campus this week: (from

Devon Blackmon, WR/6-1/177/4.40 – Fontana, CA (Fontana HS) UA All-American
Tra Carson, RB/6-0/227/4.60 – Texarkana, TX (Liberty-Eylau HS)
Rahim Cassell, LB/6-0/205/4.50 – Lakewood, CA (Lakewood HS)
Tyson Coleman, LB/6-1/203/4.63 – Lake Oswego, OR (Lake Oswego HS)
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB/5-10/182/4.50 – Chino Hills, CA (Chino Hills HS)
James Euscher, OL/6-7/275 – Beaverton, OR (Aloha HS)
Jake Fisher, OL/6-6/270/4.95 –Traverse City, MI (Traverse City West HS)
Christian French, TE/6-5/236/4.50 – Cedar Rapids, IA (John F. Kennedy HS) U.S. Army All-American
Carlyle Garrick, LB/6-2/204 – Castro Valley, CA (Castro Valley HS)
Rodney Hardrick, LB/6-1/225/4.53 – Colton, CA (Colton HS)
Tyler Johnstone, OL/6-6/250/4.93 – Chandler, AZ (Hamilton HS) U.S. Army All-American
Lake Koa-Ka’ai, DL/6-4/245/4.80 – Honolulu, HI (Kamehameha Schools Kapalama HS)
Sam Kamp, DL/6-4/247/4.82 – Mesa, AZ (Mountain View HS)
B.J. Kelley, WR/6-2/175/4.43 – Fresno, CA (Central HS)
Colt Lyerla, WR/6-5/225/4.56 – Hillsboro, OR (Hillsboro HS) U.S. Army All-American
Marcus Mariota, QB/6-4/194/4.48 – Honolulu, HI (St. Louis HS)
Jamal Prater, OL/6-4/290 – Etiwanda, CA (Etiwanda HS)
Tacoi Sumler, WR/5-9/166/4.24 – Miami, FL (Christopher Columbus HS) UA All-American
De’Anthony Thomas, ATH/5-9/160/4.41 – Los Angeles, CA (Crenshaw HS) U.S. Army All-American
Anthony Wallace, LB/6-0/221/4.55 – Dallas, TX (Skyline HS) UA All-American
Andre Yruretagoyena, OL/6-5/260/4.94 – Scottsdale, AZ (Chaparral HS) UA All-American

Jared Ebert, DL/6-5/285/4.80 – Iowa City, IA (Iowa Western Community College)
Rahsaan Vaughn, WR/6-2/192/4.37 – Fremont, CA (College of San Mateo)

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