Between now and national signing day on Feb. 5, The Oregonian is profiling high school football players who are expected to sign with the Ducks. Name: Jalen Jelks Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz. Position: Defensive end Twitter: N/A Height: 6-foot-7 Weight: 256 pounds High school: Desert Vista 2013 statistics: 72 tackles, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, one blocked field goal Why Duck fans should be excited: The possibilities for the next four years are tantalizing considering how far Jalen Jelks came in the previous four. Amid preparation for the final football game of his prep career, Jelks laughs over the phone at just the thought of his high-school transformation. “As soon as spring ball came around I noticed a big difference in my game,” he said. How exactly, again, did he go from a 170-pound freshman wrestler grappling over his head in the 185-pound division into a 6-foot-7, 250-pound defensive lineman manhandling smaller opponents? His coach simply explains it as Jelks’ “natural progression.” “Every year he gets a little bigger and stronger and a little quicker, but it wasn't really this wake-up, overnight and there-he-was thing,” Desert Vista High coach Dan Hinds said. “It was just a natural thing.” After the change from his unassuming start – he wasn’t a consistent varsity contributor until his junior season – to an eye-popping prep finish complete with offers from Washington, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oregon and more, it’s also natural to wonder about the possibilities of Jelks’ career in Eugene as a Duck defensive lineman. Despite being a year young for his class, Jelks will graduate at 17 with the physical gifts of a much older player. On Feb. 5, Jelks will make his July verbal commitment to Oregon official by signing his National Letter of Intent in Dallas, where he will play in the U.S. vs. Canada “International Bowl” two days later. “It’s all tied together to getting stronger and faster,” said Jelks, who plans on reaching at least 265 pounds by the time he arrives on campus. He used his long reach and power at defensive end and tackle in a primarily 4-3 set at Desert Vista, whose defensive line sent Devon Kennard to USC in 2009 (Jelks has previously trained with Kennard's father, Derek, who started at center during the Dallas Cowboys' victory in Super Bowl XXX). Hinds said that thought Jelks often dominated through sheer force and size, he also has a blend of solid footwork and knowledge of where to place his hands for leverage. “He's able to strike as he's moving,” Hinds said. “He can strike a guy, put him on his heels and move around him.”