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Oregon Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Ducks

Oregon Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Ducks

Oregon Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Ducks

Of the influences Mario Cristobal brought to Oregon from his time with Nick Saban at Alabama, recruiting tenacity obviously translated. A new flock of Ducks joins an already talented roster in 2021, as the newest signing class to Oregon ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 6 nationally per 247Sports.

Not only is this the best recruiting class of Cristobal's tenure, but it's the most highly rated in program history. Needless to say, expectations will be high. Some of these newcomers, if not the majority, should contribute right away.

Troy Franklin, WR

The Oregon passing attack is one of the more unknown spots for the Ducks in 2021. With Tyler Shough transferring out, a new quarterback will take snaps in the season to come. Whoever wins the job will likely enjoy Franklin as a target.

Ranked second in the 2021 class among all wide receivers, Franklin fills an immediate, pressing need in the Oregon offense.

Kingsley Suamataia, OT

Offensive line play powered Oregon to the Rose Bowl and on the cusp of a College Football Playoff berth in the 2019 season. With graduations and star tackle Penei Sewell opting out, the 2020 unit took a step back.

With the addition of Suamataia, the Ducks' front five could reverse that trend this fall.

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Ranked No. 6 nationally among all prospects at his position, Suamataia is a ballyhooed presence at tackle. He'll have an opportunity to work his way into the lineup quickly, too, joining the program early.

Seven McGee, APB

The No. 3-rated all-purpose back in the entire 2021 recruiting class could be the kind of multifaceted playmaker Oregon had a decade ago in De'Anthony Thomas. McGee is not yet on campus, but that isn't stopping this speedster from putting in work in preparation for the fall.

Keith Brown, LB

Coaches always preach the importance of keeping top-flight, local talent home, but that plan doesn't always come to fruition. Oregon accomplished it in this signing class with the addition of Brown.

The top-rated player in the state of Oregon, Brown joins a linebacker group brimming with young talent. Joining up with Noah Sewell, Mase Funa and Justin Flowe might make finding playing time a challenge right away, but Brown's talent could earn him important reps for a unit that's a decided strength.

Ty Thompson, QB

So the quarterback question is indeed the most fascinating storyline of Oregon's offseason. Anthony Brown, a transfer from Boston College, was outstanding in the Pac-12 Championship Game but struggled in the Fiesta Bowl. Redshirt freshman Jay Butterfield earned high praise from Cristobal during the fall, so he might be in line for the starting job.

But coming in with plenty of plaudits and enrolling early, Thompson could factor into the competition to captain the Oregon offense.

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.