Football Notes

by Frank Baldwin June 23, 2016

Sampson Niu, 4-star LB, commits to Oregon Ducks

By Andrew Nemec


After struggling on the defensive side of the ball last season, the Oregon Ducks brought in a new defensive coordinator in Brady Hoke, whose primary change was a switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defensive front.

In the hopes of bolstering that new defensive front, Oregon has hit the ground running in the class of 2017, landing commitments from four-star defensive end/linebacker Langi Tuifua and U.S. Army All-American defensive tackle Rutger Reitmaier.

On Wednesday morning, Hoke and Co. again added a crucial piece to the heart of the defense, as Rivals four-star linebacker Sampson Niu committed to Oregon on "Good Morning San Diego" on KUSI.

For some time, it looked as though USC had the inside track for Niu's services, but after landing Oregon high school talent Daniel Green, the Trojans filled up their allotted slots at the position.The 6-foot-1, 217-pound 'backer, out of Madison High School (San Diego, California), chose the Ducks over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Oregon State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin and others.

Shortly thereafter, Niu visited Oregon and indicated he was blown away by the experience, leading to widespread belief that he would choose the Ducks.

The pledge marks Oregon's sixth football commitment in the month of June, joining Reitmaier, Rivals four-star offensive lineman Alex Forsyth, junior college offensive lineman John Vaka, as well as class of 2018 duo Colson Yankoff, a 247Sports four-star quarterback, and emerging 6-foot-5 wide receiver Devin Culp.


Ex-Duck QB Vernon Adams adjusting to life in the CFL

By Geoffrey C. Arnold


Vernon Adams is making progress as he adjusts to playing in the Canadian Football League.

Adams completed 4-of-8 passes for 35 yards, with one touchdown, one interception and one fumble during the Montreal Alouettes two preseason games. Adams threw his first professional touchdown pass during the Alouettes second preseason game.

The Alouettes will play their first regular season game Friday at Winnipeg. Adams, third on the depth chart, may not see much, if any, action. Adams is still learning the CFL and Alouettes style of play.

"I'm working and grinding and just glad there is a team that wanted me," Adams told

Adams produced a strong season during his one season with the Ducks, but he wasn't selected in the 2016 NFL draft and then went unsigned after tryouts with the Seattle Seahawks and Washington. Adams headed north to the CFL's British Columbia Lions, which held his draft rights. He and the Lions were unable to reach a contract agreement and the Lions traded him to Montreal, where he signed a three-year contract.

The 5-foot-11 Adams was considered too short and too frail to play quarterback in the NFL, but short quarterbacks have found success in the CFL. In fact, three of the Alouettes four quarterbacks are 6-foot and under.

"We take football players that have performed in the past, no matter what the measureables," Montreal general manager/coach Jim Popp told "That applies to most of the guys in the CFL that you play with and win with."

Adams came on late in the third quarter of the Alouettes 22-15 win against Toronto last week. Adams completed his first pass, but fumbled the snap on the next play and the fumble was recovered by Toronto defensive back Joshua Mitchell, who returned the fumble 46 yards for a touchdown. Following a Montreal interception, Adams threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver B.J. Cunningham early in the fourth quarter.

 The Alouettes plan to bring Adams along slowly. He was traded to Montreal on May 21, just days before the team began training camp. Along with adjusting to the league, Adams is learning the team's style and terminology. With so much on his plate, Adams said he's not thinking about playing in the NFL.

"I can tell you I am not worried about the NFL," Adams said. "They're not worried about me. I'm not even starting here. I want to get bigger and faster and play here. If the NFL comes calling in five or 10 years or whatever, then maybe I might consider it. But as of right now. I'm fine."


Frank Baldwin
Frank Baldwin


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