4-star offensive lineman Dave Iuli announced his commitment to the Ducks on Saturday, choosing Oregon over the likes of Washington, USC, Cal, and Oklahoma.
So what are the Ducks getting with this commitment?
At 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, Iuli is not lacking in size. But what makes him a uniquely exciting prospect is his ability to pair power with mobility. At the next level, Iuli has the potential to be elite when pulling as a guard and leading a running back through the hole. Plus, once he gets through to the second level he shows the ability to punish opposing linebackers.
Iuli’s mobility and experience as a tackle also makes him an asset in pass protection because of his ability to recover and pick up additional pass rushers. But his versatility doesn’t stop there.
Iuli also has experience as a defensive tackle in high school and could potentially take snaps on the other side of the ball if needed at some point during his career. That’s a valuable asset in a class with limited scholarships remaining. Overall, it’s safe to say that Iuli is worthy of his 4-star status.
From a big picture recruiting perspective, Iuli’s decision likely marks the completion of Oregon’s 2022 offensive line class, at least for the time being. The Ducks started the month of June with just one commitment in JUCO prospect Percy Lewis but have since added four more commitments to give them a complete group.
Iuli nicely rounds out the class by adding an interior presence that was needed to pair with the group of talented tackles that had already joined the flock. The Ducks could hold off here and be completely secure in their accomplishments recruiting this group, although they do still have a battle looming for one 5-star up front who I’ll mention more on below.
But back to today’s news.
It may be easy to pass over the significance of Iuli’s commitment for some. After all, Ducks fans have been spoiled by recruiting success under Mario Cristobal, and blue-chip pickups have become somewhat routine along the offensive line, in particular since Alex Mirabal took over.
Cristobal has preached about the importance of dominant offensive line play since he took over and has backed it up by prioritizing them in recruiting, development, and marketing. However, let’s not forget that this type of talent accumulation is an outlier, particularly in the Pac-12.
With the addition of Iuli, the Ducks have secured another elite class up front and confirmed that they will continue to widen the talent gap between them and the rest of the conference along the offensive line.
Speaking of the rest of the conference, this recruitment was a statement for Oregon against one Pac-12 rival in particular, the Washington Huskies. Iuli is from Puyallup, Wash., just a short drive from Seattle. There’s no way around it: Washington should have had the geographic advantage over Oregon in this recruitment, and to let this talented a prospect leave the state is a troubling sign for Jimmy Lake’s program.
Now, this heated Pac-12 North rivalry will shift to a new focus on the recruiting trail, that being 5-star offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr. Conerly is another Washington native, coming from Rainier Beach High School in Seattle.
After a 2021 cycle that saw 5-star talents Emeka Egbuka and JT Tuimoloau leave the state and opt to play their college ball in Columbus, Conerly’s is a crucial recruitment for UW.
On the other side, Oregon has already landed a headliner offensive tackle from out of state this cycle in 5-star Kelvin Banks. The addition of Conerly would truly be a dream scenario for Oregon and would shore up both sides of their line for years to come.
It’s still too early in Conerly’s recruitment for me to make a prediction on where he will end up, but both programs made the cut for his top 12 in early May and figure to be heavily involved until the end.
Ducks fans surely hope that the addition of Iuli will have an added benefit in helping Oregon’s chances for Conerly.
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