football Edit

Early decision for Balducci

From the no surprise at all department, Alex Balducci has committed to Oregon after months of favoring the Ducks in his recruitment that was starting to get much busier.
"I'm not really surprised in the least," Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic coach Steve Pyne said. "I'm surprised he got it over so quick but I'm not really surprised at all that it's Oregon."
Arizona State, Cal and Utah recently offered Balducci, a 6-foot-4, 262-pound defensive end who also had offers from Boise State, Oregon State and Washington.
Balducci's recruitment almost the entire time revolved around Oregon and Washington and the Central Catholic standout who's already committed to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl picked the Ducks on Monday.
Pyne said Balducci's relationship with Oregon defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro was a main factor plus it was reassuring to know that he'll be close to home.
"The biggest thing is that he had a great rapport with coach Azzinaro," Pyne said.
"Coach Azz and he got along really well from the beginning and they said all along they want him to play defense and that's one of Alex's desires. Plus it's close to home and they're coming off a great season."
Balducci is probably done with summer camps and unofficial visits and will focus on his senior year where he'll start on the offensive and defensive lines. Rivals.com rates Balducci No. 13 at strong-side defensive end and No. 178 nationally.
"He's a great character kid," Pyne said. "He's not going to be a problem down there at all."
Balducci is the sixth commit in Oregon's class along with Arlington (Texas) Martin defensive backs Eric and Stephen Amoako, Aurora (Colo.) Grandview tight end Evan Baylis, Newport, Ore., athlete Oshay Dunmore and Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney quarterback Jake Rodrigues.