Oregon Football: Do Blue Chip Commits Balance Loss of Slade-Matautia?

Jordan Ingram Editorials

Alright, Ducks fans. If you’re like me, you woke up shocked to learn that four-star linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia was entering the NCAA transfer portal. It’s official — the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Hawaiian native will likely finish his college football career somewhere else, perhaps closer to home?

In three years, Slade-Matautia had 131 total tackles, with 12 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. No mincing words — this is a tough loss and the veteran defender’s presence and charisma will be missed. I truly wish him well on the rest of his football journey.

But just as the football gods taketh away, so do they giveth. And sometimes they giveth BIG TIME. On Tuesday, four-star linebacker and full-time hulk TJ “Bull” Dudley announced his commitment to the University of Oregon for the class of 2022.

Dudley’s finalist college choices included Clemson, Auburn and Alabama, but somehow, Mario Cristobal muscled his way into the conversation and voila!

The four-star standout from Alabama (Montgomery Catholic Prep) has a similar frame to Slade-Matautia and appears to be a ferocious tackler and ballhawk. It’s always satisfying when a recruit receives an offer from the Crimson Tide but opts for a flock o’ feathers in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the highlight reel from Dudley’s junior season below, or check it out on Hudl here

And Dudley is the second top-rated prospect to commit to Oregon since the NCAA’s “dead period” ended on June 1st. The other promising 2022 commit is Sir Mells, a three-star defensive tackle from Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada.

This lane blocking, run-stuffing MAN-O-PLENTY is 6-foot-4, 310-pounds and should find a good home along Oregon’s defensive front. FUN FACT: Mells was predicted as nearly a lock for the Washington Huskies, but opted for Oregon after a June 4th recruiting visit.

Plus, getting one over on the Dawgs makes the acquisition just a little sweeter.

What do we think Ducks fans? Are we happy? We lost a veteran to the almighty transfer portal. But we gained a high-ranked stud that could more than fill Slade-Matautia’s shoes.

Jordan Ingram 
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Eric Evans, UO Athletics

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