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January 18, 2011

Lyerla awarded fifth star

The Oregon Ducks are moving up in their national recruiting rank without lifting a finger. Rivals.com came out with the final list of the nation's top 100 players on Tuesday, and three future Ducks made a move upward on the prestigious list of blue-chip prospects.

Making the biggest jump in the final edition of the rankings was Hillsboro standout Colt Lyerla. Due to an outstanding performance during the Army All-American Bowl week coupled with a solid senior season, Lyerla earned a coveted fifth star, one of only 26 in the stringent Rivals system to be given the honor. He also moved from #87 to the #26-ranked player nationally. Further, the two-way athlete had his Rivals rating increase from 5.8 to 6.1 (scale 0 to 6.1).

Another future Duck joining Lyerla with a move up the charts is Fontana (Calif.) wide receiver Devon Blackmon. Originally rated 5.9 and the #46 player nationally, Blackmon parlayed his stellar senior season performance for Summit into a move up to #35-nationally with a 6.0 rating.

The third Duck commit to make the 2011 Rivals100 is tight end Christian French. French moved up nine spots in the final ranking with his Army All-American week performance, to #87 nationally. French also saw his rating increase from 5.8 to 5.9.

Even if the Ducks were to stop recruiting today, placing three recruits in the Rivals100 is an outstanding achievement matched only once before, with Chip Kelly matching that total following his first season as head coach. Taking a look back at previous members of the Rivals100, it is apparent Oregon recruiting is on a historical upswing.

Past Oregon Rivals100 Members

2011: Colt Lyerla (26), Devon Blackmon (35), Christian French (87)

2010: Lache Seastrunk (26), Ricky Heimuli (88), Curtis White (97)

2009: Cliff Harris (41)

2008: None

2007: Myles Wade (74) DNQ

Oregon may not be done with the Rivals100 in 2011. A few more of its members are on their radar including Kentucky linebacker Lamar Dawson (45), Serra wide receiver Marqise Lee (36), PA defensive end Delvon Simmons (80) and Point Loma defensive tackle Christian Heyward (94) being their best opportunities for further blue-chip action.

Another indication in the rise of Oregon's recruiting fortunes the last few years will be released tomorrow in the form of the final 2011 Rivals250. Stay tuned to Duck Sports Authority for that and all your Duck needs.


Follow A.J. on Twitter @aj_jacobson


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