5 things that came from Mario Cristobal’s quarantine press conference
We miss spring football...
We were supposed to be just two weeks away from the Oregon football spring game on Saturday, April 18.
The scenery and self distancing may be different, but make no mistake, Mario Cristobal and the Ducks are still getting after it.
Here are five things we learned from Oregon football head coach Mario Cristobal’s press conference on Friday, April 3.
HOW TO STAY IN FOOTBALL SHAPE
We are all encouraged to ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ during this COVID-19 pandemic, which makes it pretty tough to stay in shape. People everywhere are finding new and creative ways to workout at home. That includes the Ducks who are supposed to be going through spring practices right now.
Instead, the team along with everyone else, is on their own and hold one another accountable.
According to Cristobal, “Training and staying in shape is something that is completely voluntary." This is of course with the safety of the student-athletes at the forefront of the decision.
Accountability at it’s best. The players do have a set of bands and foam rollers, which is a solid workout in itself if you’ve ever done one.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE EARLY ENROLLEES
Oregon football fans will have to wait to see this stellar 2020 recruiting class, headlined by five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell, until the coronavirus has halted.
According to Cristobal, Flowe has enrolled in Oregon spring classes and had to introduce himself to the team over the popular online meeting app Zoom.
“Every time we begin the spring quarter, we have a player come up and introduce themselves to the team, say his name, where he’s from, position… we had to do it via Zoom. We popped his picture up there and put him on so he could speak to the team and introduce himself and everyone welcomed him.
He, like the rest of the guys, are chomping at the bit to dive into all the things that go with being a student-athlete.” — Mario Cristobal
TYLER SHOUGH QB1
The heir to the throne that quarterback Justin Herbert has vacated is currently occupied by Tyler Shough.
The redshirt sophomore was the true backup for the past two seasons behind Herbert. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback from Chandler, Arizona saw action in five games (53 snap total) last season and completed 12-of-15 passes for 144 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The consensus four-star prospect has waited his turn and earned the QB1 spot.
“I can’t emphasize enough how fired up we are about Tyler [Shough]. He entered spring football as the starter. He leaves the spring as the starter.” — Mario Cristobal
However, there is quite the competition in the Oregon QB room. The Ducks recently signed grad transfer quarterback Anthony Brown from Boston College, and signed pro-style QB Jay Butterfield and Robby Ashford in the 2020 incoming class.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR RECRUITING
We have all seen Mario Cristobal work his magic on the recruiting trail outside of this pandemic. Now he, like the rest of us, is encouraged to have that face-to-face contact but through online resources such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom.
That doesn’t change Cristobal’s philosophy on recruiting and “finding the right guys with the right stuff.”
“Well I think probably the best part for us recruiting wise at the end of the day, when the season ended, we were the conference champions and won the Rose Bowl. I think it’s important for prospects and parents to see that. At the end of the day, what are you doing with your players? Well, right now our players academically are doing a great job. Great job in the community. They certainly did it on the field in a big time way…” — Mario Cristobal.
THE SEARCH IS STILL ON
Mario Cristobal still has a few vacancies on his coaching staff starting with filling a need for a wide receivers coach.
After just one season in Eugene, Jovon Bouknight left to be the next wide receivers coach at Kentucky. Cristobal emphasizes finding the right fit just like when he is out on the road recruiting players.
“You maintain the same process but you just don’t do it face-to-face. Because of modern technology and the way things are, your access to watching guys in action, watching guys coach and teach, perform at clinics and being able to assess the presence of a guy. His knowledge, the way he connects with people and then researching places where they’ve been and what they’ve done…” — Mario Crisotbal
The wide receiver room is looking sharp this upcoming season with starters Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd returning along with Mycah Pittman, Josh Delgado, Bryan Addison, Devon Williams, and several sophomores who now have a year of college ball under their belts.