Friday morning, it was reported Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks plan to hire California Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter to the same position in Eugene, Oregon.
This hire makes so much sense.
Not only has he operated on the west coast since 2012 acting as Fresno State Head Coach before becoming Cal's defensive coordinator so he has experience recruiting on this side of the country, he's shown an ability to revamp struggling defenses quickly with his aggressive 3-4 scheme.
The Golden Bears ranked 127th in scoring defense and 125th in total defense in 2016 before he arrived and then improved to 22nd in scoring in 2018 and 33rd in 2019, during which time All-American inside linebacker Evan Weaver led the nation in tackles.
Now he will inherit the most talented defense he's ever coached full of four-star and five-star talent, especially at the linebacker position with five-stars Noah Sewell, Justin Flowe, Kayvon Thibodeaux and four-stars Keith Brown, Jonathan Flowe, Mase Funa and Isaac Slade-Matautia.
Whether Thibodeaux lines up on the line or from a standing up position remains to be seen, but it's clear the Ducks have the talent to field a deadly 3-4 front.
Next season due to the NCAA's pause of eligibility for the 2020 college football season, Sewell, both Flowe's, and Keith Brown will all be freshmen and their development will dictate how great Oregon can be the next few years on defense.
Good thing DeRuyter has a track record for coaching some of the nation's best.
In 2019, DeRuyter shared National Linebackers Coach of the Year honors with fellow Golden Bears coach Peter Simon. Under their tutelage, Cal had the nation's leading tackler, First-Team All-American, and Defensive Player of the Year Evan Weaver (182 tackles) and the Pac-12's third-leading tackler Kuony Deng (119 tackles).
Given the wealth of talent in the Ducks linebacker room, having the best starting unit the Pac-12 as soon as next season seems like the bar. No other school can start two five-star linebackers in Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell. The latter of which had a stellar debut last season finishing the season with 45 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble and being named a Freshman All-American and Coaches Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.
The pair of Weaver and Deng led the nation in total tackles for a pair of linebackers in back-to-back seasons. Why can't he engineer similar success for Sewell and Flowe?
Also not to get Ducks fans too excited, but DeRuyter coached Von Miller from a three-star recruit to the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after he won the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's most outstanding linebacker.
Could an Oregon player win the Butkus Award for the first time in program history? It's more likely than ever before.