Expected to contribute immediately, a touted member of Willie Taggart’s first Oregon recruiting class will instead apparently be moving on.
247Sports.com was the first to report over the weekend that Rutger Reitmaier has decided to leave Taggart’s football program. The Oregonian subsequently wrote that the defensive lineman “did not respond to a text message seeking comment late Sunday, but his biography is no longer listed on the team roster.”
The website ScoopDuck.com is reporting that “the primary reason cited was distance from home.”
Reitmaier was recruited heavily by Brady Hoke when the latter was the Ducks’ defensive coordinator. Reitmaier’s a native of Nashville, while Hoke is currently the defensive line coach for the Tennessee Volunteers. Given that connection, as well as his reported desire to move closer to home, the Vols are already being rumored as a potential landing spot.
Obviously, hometown Vanderbilt would be a possibility as well. There’s also a personal connection to the Commodores.
Both of those SEC schools offered the lineman a scholarship prior to his signing with UO.
A three-star member of UO’s 2017 recruiting class, Reitmaier was rated as the No. 23 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Tennessee. Only a pair of cornerbacks, Deommodore Lenoir and Jaylon Redd, and linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia were rated higher on the defensive side of the ball than Reitmaier in the Ducks’ class this year.
An early enrollee who participated in spring practice this year, Reitmaier would likely have to sit out the 2017 season if he transfers to another FBS program.
It’s not often a team dismisses one of its top returning play-makers just weeks before fall camp, but Darren Carrington kind of forced Oregon’s hand. The rising senior was arrested for DUII on July 1 and dismissed by the team close to two weeks later.
It was far from his first run in with the law in Eugene. He was ruled ineligible for Oregon’s College Football Playoff championship game loss to Ohio State, cited for open container in October of 2015 and accused of breaking a man’s arm in a fight last Halloween.
In a statement on his behalf to The Oregonian, Carrington’s family said he was disappointed in the dismissal but believes this is not the end of his football career.
“Darren is definitely disappointed, as are we (his family). Firstly, Darren is a leader and has grown immensely over the course of his four years at Oregon. So with that, it is truly an unfortunate situation especially witnessing the work ethic and dedication he has put forth with his training. Darren has worked extremely hard to put himself in position to have a great season, this was his year! Secondly, with having another year of eligibility, his plan was to finish his collegiate years as a Duck along with all his teammates, and he was honored and looking forward to being under the coaching of Willie Taggart. Lastly, no one can be blamed for his actions, but himself! Without question, he has acknowledged that and has taken full responsibility for his actions.
“His faith is what keeps him optimistic, with hopes that another school will give him an opportunity to make the next chapter in his life the best one yet; both on and off the field.”
In 43 receptions last season, Carrington led Oregon with 606 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Huge news has come out of Eugene just a couple of weeks before Willie Taggart kicks off his first summer camp at Oregon.
Late last month, Darren Carrington was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants. At the time, the football program announced that the star wide receiver had been indefinitely suspended.
Two weeks later, Taggart made the jarring announcement Friday night that Carrington has been dismissed from the Ducks.
“I have visited with Darren Carrington and informed him that he is no longer a member of our program,” the head coach said in a statement. “We will always consider Darren a Duck and support him in any way we can. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
The development involving the veteran serves as a huge blow to the Ducks’ passing attack.
The senior’s 606 yards receiving last year was tops on the team, while his five receiving touchdowns were tied for first. His 43 catches were second on the team.
While this was Carrington’s first off-field issue under Taggart, the arrest continued a pattern of askew behavior away from the gridiron.
Carrington was ineligible for Oregon’s College Football Playoff Championship loss to Ohio State a couple of years ago, was cited for open container in October 2015 and was accused of breaking a man’s arm in a Halloween incident last year.
In yet another sign that the offseason is quickly coming to an end and another season is rapidly approaching, the Outland Trophy has become the latest college football award to release its preseason watch list.
Given annually to the nation’s top interior linemen on either side of the ball, the Outland’s watch list this year consists of 81 players from all 10 FBS conferences. Headlining that group are Washington State senior guard Cody O’Connell (pictured, No. 76) and Texas junior offensive tackle Connor Williams, two of the three finalists for the 2016 award won by Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.
From the release, courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America:
The ACC (17) led all conferences with members on the Watch List, followed by the Big Ten and SEC (11 each), Pac-12 (10), American Athletic (9), Big 12 and Mid-American (6 each), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), Conference USA (2) and Sun Belt (1).
The list includes 24 offensive tackles, 21 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 16 offensive guards.
Oregon may have had to make a costly change by bringing in a new head coach for the Ducks football program this offseason but before it did, the school handed out a new contract extension to athletic director Rob Mullens.
The Oregonian obtained the contract through an open records request and it appears the contract was agreed upon last October. The deal gives Mullens, who has been in the same role since 2010, a raise to $717,500 a year through 2024 while also adding numerous incentives and retention bonuses as well.
Mullens previously agreed to a new contract just over a year prior back in early 2015.
Perhaps most notable in the deal is that there is no buyout on the athletic director’s end and there are a string of six-figure retention bonuses every year through 2024, when the figure jumps to $1 million. While there have been occasional mentions of Mullens’ name for other roles around the country, safe to say that the Ducks and their athletic director are looking at a long future together.
In addition to his duties in Eugene, Mullens is also a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee and is in the middle of his three-year term in 2017.