Recruiting Reality Hits Old Oregon Fans Hard

Charles Fischer FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 19 Comments

Once Oregon gets consistently into the Top Five…wins major bowls, becomes one of the top winning programs in the nation–and if the Ducks play twice in five years for the National Championship–THEN our beloved Ducks will recruit like the BEST.

Hey you Greybeards. You know who you are in age, and like me, you have thought the above. Heck–I didn’t think it, as I knew it in my bones. Someday….we’ll be there. We have great coaching, great facilities, a sexy brand, and we are winning a ton. We have people in place that I like and believe in, so yeah…someday we’ll out-recruit the LA schools!

That THUD you heard outside the Wednesday night was us older Oregon fans coming back to earth.

Realizing recruiting reality is a bitch, and it hurts.  If we are not challenging the LA schools now (and doing better than a 16th rated class), then I have to be realistic and comprehend that it is never going to happen and to make the best of who we are, and what we have. I’m a big one for counting blessings, and cannot understand the bandwagon fans who are so demanding of our coaches and have so little football knowledge or sense of where a real Oregon fan has come from.

Phil Knight can change facilities, but not geography.

Kevin Cline

Phil Knight can change facilities, but not geography.

Admit it.  How many times have you told yourself as an old timer, “when the recruits realize that ______ can’t deliver at USC/UCLA…then everything will turn our way. No longer will the majority of great talent go to LA to wither away or go to a lower tier bowl when they could have been with a bigger winner in Oregon….yep, they will see.”


Every year the recruiting class in the state of California keeps believing the new guy…that he is going to lead them to great things…that they are going to “win forever” and he will be there to direct the band. No matter what the Ducks do, it seems the next class is duped by the next coach, who although is a great recruiter — is not a great coach. “Young man, Sark and Mora are NOT Bellotti, Chip, or Helfrich!”  (You will see, and the next new LA coach will dupe the next class of recruits.)

So many of these players who sit deep in the depth chart could have played early for Oregon, improved, and become NFL players from the coaching  (as Oregon represented the most players from any college in the Super Bowl)….and they would have been the final pieces needed for a National Championship for my beloved Ducks.

What have USC and UCLA achieved of note in the last two years?  Yet in that time…Oregon has signed 13 players that are four or five stars (, while UCLA has signed 24, and USC has added a gulping 31?  (THIRTY FRICHEN ONE?)  Am I scared of what they will do?  No — they have Sark, but oh the waste of that talent!

Oregon, at times, will have a weakness in a particular area of recruiting as years ago it was the offensive line, then it was defensive line, and currently it is at linebacker. So we have opportunities for someone of great talent at LB to come in and play soon for Oregon and be in major bowls and championships — now. USC, meanwhile, has three other four and five star LBs verbally committed or signed while this recruit is deciding?? Yep…the recruit gets sucked into the Trojans and announces for them during the day Wednesday at a press conference.  Too bad for him AND us, and how many times has that song played for us old Oregon fans?  All parties lose.

It sounds pretty bitter, and for many older Duck fans…this new reality sucks, but rings true.

A perfect fit at Oregon...

John Sperry

A perfect fit at Oregon…

What we attracted to Oregon in recruiting this year is incredible and there are so many players I am excited about. I believe the trenches had the best single year EVER and we can credit HC Mark Helfrich for that.  He has been relentless in pursuing talent, offering early, and giving coaches like Steve Greatwood the ability to offer on who they believed in and when they wanted. The result? Greatwood had an amazing offensive line class wrapped up by JULY 1st.  Holy Crap, that is great recruiting!

Yes…but it is also superior management skills by Coach Helfrich; he knows who has been doing this a long time and gave him the freedom to perform.

There are so many things to like about this class…so why the issue, Charles?  Because we could have used a few more…the extra pieces that win championships, but they were wasted going to Cal, UCLA, or USC and they will sit on the bench or not be coached the same as in Eugene. We have something special here, and I just want to see it completed.

But Greybeards….did you feel the same as I after our loss in the recent National Championship? I did not feel the same fan-depression as when we lost to Auburn. Why?Because this time I believe we will be back, and we will win it regardless of where the majority of southern California recruits go, and yes, we will do it the hard way.

The Greybeards know I’m right.

FishDuck Forever

Top photo from video

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