Earlier this summer, 247Sports four-star linebacker Bryce Youngquist said he was “90 percent” sure he’d wind up committing to the Oregon Ducks.

Although he’s got the opportunity to make that a self-fulfilling prophecy, his prediction skills will soon be tested, as he is set to choose between Oregon and Oklahoma on Friday at 4 p.m. (PT):

For the Ducks, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound defensive prospect, out of Los Osos High School (Rancho Cucamonga, California), represents a priority target. Not only does Youngquist fit the mold of as a versatile linebacker who can blitz on the outside or drop back into coverage, but he also completes Oregon’s pursuit of class of 2016 linebackers.

Heading into this year’s recruiting cycle, Oregon knew it had to recruit several players at the position given next year’s losses of seniors Joe Walker, Tyson Coleman, Christian French and Rodney Hardrick.

That exodus, therefore, placed a premium on linebackers that the Ducks have a chance to fully address by the end of July. Four-star prospects Darrian Franklin and La’Mar Winston, as well as hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker Hunter Kampmoyer are all pledged to Oregon. Youngquist would give them a much-needed fourth member of the group.

And the chances of that appear to be rather promising.

Prior to his final two unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Wisconsin, the Ducks were sitting in poll position for the dynamic athlete.

“Oregon is just that school for me, up to this point, at least. It’s my best option, really,” he told The Oregonian. “Football is great, but it’s the area around Oregon. It’s really, really nice. They have the academic support for all their players, especially the incoming freshmen. It’s a team mentality. I absolutely love everything about Oregon.”

Fresh off those trips, despite being impressed with both the Badgers and Sooners, Youngquist held firm when asked who was on top for his services.

“I’d probably say Oregon,” he told The Oregonian. “With Oregon, the people who make up the program… it’s such a team-first attitude and the coaches know the players and what the players have gone through. That makes a big difference. When I went to Oregon everyone was on the same page and nice. There was no trouble whatsoever. It’s just a great place to be around good people who care for you and want to help you succeed.”

If, in fact, Youngquist chooses the Ducks, the school’s pressing need at linebacker in the class of 2016 will be met with four versatile athletes, including three four-star West Coast talents. A spot will be left open just in case they can manage to land a five-star prospect like Caleb Kelly, but even the foursome (with Youngquist) would be an impressive feat.

— Andrew Nemec
anemec@oregonian.com
@AndrewNemec

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