Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cantu's Oregon career a cautionary tale in the recruiting hype

He tore the labrum in the third week of summer workouts in 2008, getting tangled up with a safety. It was never completely right after that. He greyshirted that year, enrolled Winter Term of 2009. He shined in Spring Practice, nabbing three balls for 111 yards in the 2009 Spring Game. One of Oregon’s first recruits from Texas along with LaMichael James, Josh Huff and Dontae Williams, the future looked bright. He had 4.48 speed in the 40, good size at 6-0, 190, getting picked for the UnderArmour All-American Game his senior year.

His high school team won a state title his junior year, in Texas where high school football is a big deal. The message boards went crazy over a catch he made as a sophomore, one-handed in the back of the end zone from Joe Mauro, the quarterback at Bell. “Greatest catch since Dez Bryant,” one of the posters raved. He was 6-5A sophomore of the year. The boards went crazy again, when they got wind of his transfer to South Lake Carroll. As a junior, the favorite target of the coaches’ son, Riley Dodge, he caught 80 balls for 1283 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was disciplined and smooth, a guy who would go over the middle.

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