Recruiting, recruiting and recruiting are the Top 3 elements of any successful college football program. With the Oregon Ducks currently sitting (as of this writing) at No. 7 nationally with both Rivals.com and 247sports.com for the 2021 recruiting cycle, it’s safe to say the Ducks take those three elements very seriously.
Of course, this is no revelation under Mario Cristobal. The head coach has changed the entire football culture at Oregon, and with the addition of new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, he appears to have all the pieces in place.
At schools such as Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State, every year is a “College Football Playoff or bust” year. Oregon appears to be the next school wanting to adopt this cherished motto.
Just this Past week (or so)
Troy Franklin, WR: Committed to UO on June 12 over finalists Alabama, Arizona State and those damn Huskies. He was a 4-star on the day he was recruited, but just last week was awarded that coveted fifth star by 247sports.com. This makes it the third year in a row that the Ducks have landed a five-star player, after Justin Flowe, Noah Sewell and Dontae Manning in 2020 — plus Kayvon Thibodeaux in 2019.
By committing to the Ducks, Franklin joins fellow wide receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson to make one of the best receiving tandems in the 2021 cycle. But the Ducks are not done yet, as they have their sights set on four-star receiver — and fastest recruit in the country — Xavier Worthy. The No. 8 recruit out of California is considered a serious Oregon lean.
On top of Worthy, the Oregon staff is targeting four-star wide receiver Dont’e Thornton out of Maryland. Getting either Worthy or Thornton would make for the best wide receiver recruiting haul in Oregon history. Getting both would be absolutely mind-boggling when considering the Ducks’ recent history of lacking talent at the position.
Jaylin Davies, Cornerback: The four-star corner out of California’s Mater Dei High School committed to the Ducks over ASU, Ohio State and USC. The Under Armour All-American is the second Mater Dei addition for Oregon in the recruiting class, joining consensus four-star wide receiver Ware-Hudson.
Cristobal has targeted key programs in California such as Mater Dei and is building major pipelines of talent with other powerhouse programs as well. Keep in mind that during the dark days toward the end of the Mark Helfrich era, Oregon’s class of 2016 failed to land a single Top 45 prospect in the state of California.
With Cristobal, times are changing.
As Oregon’s 2021 class is highlighted by the likes of elite quarterback Ty Thompson, five-star wide receiver Troy Franklin and Adidas All-American offensive tackle Bram Walden, make no mistake, there is more to come.
On top of Worthy and Thornton, others believed to be leaning towards the Ducks are four-star tight end Terrance Ferguson, four-star defensive end Keanu Williams and elite offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia.
With the Ducks hauling in a boatload of four-stars prospects on top of the occasional five-star, the Ducks are in line to always be fighting for one of the final four spots in the Power 5’s College Football Playoff.
Top photo credit: Eugene Johnson
Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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