(This article was reported and written by Mike Griffith of SEC Country.)
TAMPA, Fla. — Jonathan King grew up in Florida as an Oregon football fan, first falling in love with the Ducks’ prolific offense, and then enjoying the variety of colorful uniforms.
King changed over from tight end to defensive end his freshman season at Tampa Bay Tech, but Oregon remained among his favorite schools and things seemed to fall into place when South Florida coach Will Taggart became the Ducks’ head coach last year.
“I committed to Oregon last June,” King told DieHards.com. “Even before Coach Taggart went up there, It was exciting to think about going up there, and it was one of the schools I always liked.”
Taggart, of course, has returned to the Sunshine State as Florida State’s head coach, and the 6-foot-2, 250-pound King said his commitment to the Ducks is not as firm.
“Since Coach Taggart is gone, as far as me wanting me to go Oregon, my interest went down,” King told DieHards on Saturday night. “But Coach (Mario) Cristobal called me and it was a really good conversation.
“He told me to come up on (January) 15th for my official and see what he has going, and then see what I want to do from that point on.”
King — who has had six sacks each of the past three seasons — said Oregon’s bowl loss to Boise State doesn’t have any effect on his recruitment or thoughts about the Ducks.
King also said he’s not interested in Florida State, because he believes the Seminoles like taller, longer defensive ends.
As much as King needs to like the school, he said he also needs to make sure he’s a right fit for the scheme and the personnel that’s coming and going at the school.
“I think a team that runs a 3-4 defense,” King said, “that has open slots for playing time.”
Georgia, Florida, Miami, Pittsburgh, Louisville, UCF and USF are among the other schools that King has offers from.
Indiana, which is in hot pursuit of Tampa Tech quarterback Michael Penix, has also offered King and saw him at his school this week.
“There was some talk we could be a package there,” King said. “And then Maryland wants me to take a visit on the 27th.
“But I’m going to go up to talk to Coach Cristobal and see what’s what.”
King said it’s important to meet the new coach and get a feel for things after seeing Tennessee’s new staff pull a scholarship offer from early enrollee Penix at the last minute earlier this week.
The post Tampa DE still committed to Oregon after Willie Taggart departure, but wavering with January visit pending appeared first on Diehards.