Like most football programs across the country, the Ducks fax and coffee machines inside of Oregons Hatfield-Dowlin Complex were prepped and ready to go Wednesday in the pre-dawn hours of whats become one of college football’s biggest spectacles.
National Signing Day.
On Wednesday, just after 4:30 am, Oregon received its first of twenty-one ‘letters of intent’ from high school athletes who chose to play their college football in Eugene with the Ducks.
On a day when surprises seem to be the norm, it was business as usual in the Ducks ‘war room’ with few changes to head coach Mark Helfrich’s expected recruits for the 2014 class.
“If these guys on this sheet of paper had flipped there would be a lot of questions in my mind about mankind,” said Helfrich Wednesday in his afternoon press briefing.
Helfrich and his coaching staff secured each of the players they targeted and only came up short with two announcements they hoped to sign – those from 5-star athlete John ‘Ju Ju’ Smith and highly touted defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao.
Both were thought to be serious Oregon leans, however Smith selected USC and Lealaimatafao chose LSU.
While the Ducks ranked 23rd nationally and 5th in the Pac-12 in recruiting evaluations, Helfrich said he was extremely pleased with the class as a whole.
“… The thing you don’t want to do at the end is stretch for a guy that doesn’t fit, for whatever reason” Helfrich said.
“There are a couple things on the horizon that may or may not happen. All in all I think we got one more guy than we all thought we were going to get about a week ago and all things considered are really happy.”
VIDEO; Watch the Mark Helfrich press briefing by clicking in the image shown above.