Name: Jake Fisher
Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
Position: Offensive lineman
Height: 6-6, 4.95 40
High School: Traverse City West High School
2010 statistics: 11 receptions, 232 yards as a tight end. 68 tackles as a defensive end. Team record 6-4 (League co-champions, lost in first round of State playoffs)
Instability in the program can cost a team a full recruiting class and even two. It buried Washington and Washington State. For the Michigan Wolverines, it cost them Jake Fisher.
This is how far the Oregon program has come: when elite players detach from other elite programs, they put Oregon on their short list.
It happened with Fisher just this past December. He’d committed to Rich Rodriguez and his staff in July of 2010, but when Rodriguez got fired following a 5-7 season, Fisher, his family and head coach Tim Wooer reopened his recruiting.
They made trips to Florida, Michigan, and Michigan State. The last weekend of January he made a visit to Oregon, and committed to the Ducks on the trip. He told Mick McCabe of the Detroit Free Press, “No. 1, Coach Greatwood has been there for 25 years,” he said. “He left for a little while in the NFL, so he’s got great experience. We kind of connected real good when I was there.”
Mike Eckert of the Traverse City Record-Eagle interviewed Fisher on signing day about his decision. Fisher said of Oregon:
“It’s just what they’ve been doing,” Fisher said. “They’ve been in a bowl game 19 out of 20 years. It’s a good program. That’s what struck my eye. The players and the coaches, they all want to win. Everyone’s on the same page. They’re doing things right. They’re not going to put up with anything. And they push for your education as much as they can.”
Winning Fisher in the last days of the recruiting cycle, along with De’Anthony Thomas of Los Angeles, vaulted Oregon’s class from good to great. In Fisher the Ducks got an offensive linemen so agile and athletic he played tight end in high school, and played it effectively. Fisher worked hard on his off-season conditioning, lowering his 40 time from 5.2 to 4.95. Head coach Tim Wooer told Eckert,, “It still comes back to Jake being 6-foot-7, he’s 280 pounds now, and he ran a sub-5 (seconds) 40,” Wooer said. “His films are good. I’ve said all along this kid has incredible upside. He’s going to be 6-7, 310 in no time. That’s an NFL-sized lineman. He’s athletic, he dunks, and he can run. When he had an early commitment to Michigan, that speaks volumes.”
The Traverse City athlete was rated the #25 offensive tackle prospect by Scout.com and a four-star prospect. He was first team All-State. In the video, he shows good agility with a trace of useful football meanness. Note how at 3:30 he circles left to apply a good lead block and pancakes a linebacker at the point of attack, just obliterates him as the tailback goes off his hip for a 32-yard touchdown. Watch elsewhere as he runs a corner route from the tight end position and snares a touchdown pass.
Fisher played center for the basketball team. He’ll develop the size and strength to be an elite linemen in the Oregon system, phenomenally athletic for a big man. He’ll be able to block at the second level and clear the way for Tra Carson and Lache Seastrunk.
And, one or twice a season when the opponent least expects it, they’ll slip him into the end zone for a tackle eligible.