Are We Getting A Clearer View Into How Oregon Approaches NIL?

David Marsh Editorials

We are getting close to early signing day, which is December 21st, when the vast majority of recruits will sign their letters of intent to their universities of choice. This is also the time of year we start to see the majority of recruiting flips occur. Recruiting momentum seems to be picking up at Oregon as the Ducks are favored to land a few big-time targets.

A quick reminder, schools are not allowed to directly be involved in any NIL deals with students. All NIL arrangements must be conducted by third parties with no direct contact with their “connected” institution, or at least no formal contact. Additionally, as these deals are not formally through universities, there is no requirement to make them public; these numbers are only released if one of the parties chooses to do so.

In the past, it has been clear that Oregon has a good NIL program for existing players with Division Street, Oregon’s big NIL entity, but it was pretty clear early on that the Ducks weren’t going to have the bank account to just throw money at every recruit. The University would have to pick and choose how to spend this money. Oregon is still better off than the vast majority of programs, but don’t expect the Ducks to throw around Texas A&M levels of cash.

It feels like maybe the big boosters are starting to open up their wallets a bit more to help the Ducks win some of these recruiting battles down the stretch. It has been clear Oregon is not interested in a bidding war with other schools, and that is probably why Oregon lost some of those recruiting battles earlier in the year. What is clear is that Oregon may not be out of them yet.

Kadyn Proctor is a five-star offensive linemen out of Iowa. He committed to Iowa over Oregon and Alabama and, by the sound of it, that was largely due to Iowa being the hometown school that offered a substantial NIL number (or at least the boosters did). But now momentum seems to be swinging toward the Ducks. Part of that is because offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has been building a relationship with Proctor, but in this day and age those relationships aren’t everything because it’s difficult to turn down a substantial pile of money.

Kayden Proctor is a five-star offensive lineman out of Iowa, are the Ducks making a big push for him with NIL?

Have the Oregon boosters decided they want to get more engaged with Proctor’s recruiting and NIL deal?

It’s certainly possible, as the clock is winding down and now is the time to actually engage in a bidding war. Oregon’s approach so far does seem to be to stay competitive enough early on and build relationships before engaging in a bidding war down the stretch. It is illogical to engage in a bidding war early in the recruiting process, as all that does it boost the potential “price” for that player.

We saw this last year with Josh Conerly. Oregon was engaged in his recruitment and working on building a relationship. Most of the insiders believed he was a USC lean because it looked like USC was offering the larger NIL package. Then, at the end of his recruiting, Oregon seemed to swoop in and come to an arrangement in terms of NIL as Conerly already liked Dan Lanning, Klemm and the Ducks better. Oregon just seemed to need to get a more competitive number in terms of NIL.

There are some other major targets still on the board with whom Oregon might just seal the deal if they can put together the right NIL deal. Looking at players such as David Hicks and Matayo Uiagalelei, they are both potential pick-ups for Oregon but they are going to come with a cost.

As we come down the stretch toward the end of the early signing period, do we see Oregon’s NIL partners start to make some big moves for these players? It certainly looks that way.

David Marsh 
Portland, Oregon
Top Photo By Craig Strobeck


Natalie Liebhaber, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in SLC, Utah.

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