OREGON RECRUITING IS GAINING GROUND – Mario Cristobal Using Every Tool in His Toolbox to Lure High Caliber Recruits and Solid Individuals to Eugene
Oregon has been winning the facilities game for a long time now.
As soon as the Ducks earned a Rose Bowl berth in 1995, they, along with Phil Knight, figured out that building the Oregon brand through creating the best facilities in the country was the key to sustaining that success.
Because of those improvements inside and outside of Autzen Stadium, that Oregon brand has been on a recruiting high like never before.
Of course coaching is a significant portion of that equation, but the brand and facilities are reaping huge benefits when it comes to high school football talent.
A significant amount of that success is directly related to Mario Cristobal.
When Cristobal was hired to be the Ducks head coach, the success in recruiting has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels and there’s no indication that success is going to slow any time soon.
Cristobal’s 2020 class was one of Oregon’s best ever and his 2021 class is shaping up to put the 2020 class to shame.
By most accounts from recruiting experts around the country, his 2021 class could jump into the Top 5 nationally joining blue bloods like Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama.
Even with the facility improvement, Oregon was typically hard-pressed to earn a Top 5 ranking in the Pac-12 conference.
When Willie Taggart left Oregon in the proverbial lurch to coach at Florida State, no one could have predicted the fortuitous outcome that single decision would have on the future of Oregon football.
Maybe athletic directors should listen to the players more often when selecting a new head coach because those former Ducks hit it out of the ballpark when they rallied around Cristobal.
Cristobal wanted to build a program that followed a similar path to the one Nick Saban has created at Alabama.
Not a bad program to mirror.
He literally wanted to beef up the Ducks in the trenches, but also recruit the best talent possible at every position.
Certainly a lofty goal!
And that goal is being realized.
In his 2021 class, Cristobal was able to reel in two of the top tight ends in the country in Terrance Ferguson ( 6’5 230 lbs – Littleton, CO. ) and Moliki Matavao from Henderson, Nevada.
Ferguson has catapulted up the recruiting boards and currently sits as the nations No. 7 tight end in the country.
Not only is Cristobal ( and staff ) recruiting the best talent to fit his widely respected culture, but that talent is responding in significant numbers and selecting Eugene as their college football home.
Even more important than that, his recruits are holding firm on their commitments and not changing them at the last moment before signing day.
In fact, many are committing early.
Cristobal and his staff are selecting players that are solid individuals who believe in the family unit.
They’re not only top tier athletes, but they’re also top tier people.
Oregon is competing with some of the biggest and best blue blood programs in the country.
It wasn’t long ago when kids would certainly take a gracious look at Oregon, but then after the short glance and ‘how do you do’, they eventually would select the superpower teams with the historic names and reputations.
With Cristobal at the helm, those days are over.
Of the top 10 players coming out of the state of Arizona next year, four are committed to Oregon.
Not only are the Ducks winning the Grand Canyon State, but they’ve also staked a significant claim to the State of California and have grabbed top players from other states like Colorado and Nevada.
Some say this could be the Ducks’ best offensive collection of talent ever.
Quarterback Ty Thompson is the top player out of Arizona and it won’t be long before Duck fans will get to see the connection between he and top receiver Troy Franklin from California. Thompson will also have Arizona native Bram Walden pass blocking and opening holes for some of the Ducks stellar running backs.
Previous coaches have had the same facilities and tools to lure this kind of talent to Oregon, no doubt.
However it’s been Cristobal to bring the entire package together to run at full steam ahead.
Cristobal is winning off the field, and with a Rose Bowl title already in his pocket, a national title might well be on its way.
~ Don Smalley