For the first time in two years, the Oregon Ducks got to host its annual recruiting weekend at the end of July, titled 'Saturday Night Live'.
Not only does the event help close recruitments of key targets for that year's cycle, in this case being 2022, but it helps develop relationships for student athletes in the following years. Saturday, Oregon hosted over 100 prospects across the 2022, 2023, and 2024 cycles, giving the prospects coaching and a preview of what it would be like to play for Mario Cristobal's program.
Here are some takeaways from this year's installment.
Note: This isn't everything as the dividends from the event will be felt in the months and years to come.
Damani Dent is underrated
Arguably the top performer on the defensive side of the football was Damani Dent, an Akron commit from Jacksonville, FL.
He routinely broke up passes during 1-on-1s against the wide receiver and tight end prospects, including a few near-interceptions.
The 6', 175-pound cornerback nearly intercepted a ball while lined up against a much taller tight end, due to proper positioning and closing on the ball while in the air.
Dent will not be committed to Akron for much longer if I were to speculate. He currently holds offers from Akron, Georgia State, Troy, Florida A&M and Eastern Kentucky.
Stephon Johnson will be a 4-star
The Texas WR committed to Oregon as a three-star back in March of 2021, but he will skyrocket up the rankings once they are properly updated. He's a stud.
Whenever he lined up on the outside, he would routinely create yards of separation and appeared like one of the best players in attendance.
He even had impressive one-handed grabs during warmups and 1-on-1s.
When he committed to Oregon, he was the nation's No. 65 wide receiver, No. 77 player in Texas and No. 512 overall player. Expect a bump in all three categories.
Oregon had some KEY 2022 targets on campus
The 'Saturday Night Live' camp is only attended by prospects with real interest in Oregon due to most needing to pay their way to attend it.
With that said, Oregon had 5-star WR Kevin Coleman Jr., 4-star DE Cyrus Moss, 4-star RB Jovantae Barnes, and 4-star WR Darrius Clemons all in attendance.
Only Moss participated in drills from that list, with the 6'6". 220-pound edge rusher defending on the outside like a cornerback during 7-on-7. Simply put, his physical tools are off the charts.
Shortly after the event concluding, Clemons told Hayes Fawcett on On3 he would make an announcement about his recruitment on Sunday, August 1st.
It seems likely it'll be a decision in Oregon's favor.
Walker Lyons will be a priority in 2023
The 4-star, 6'4", 230-pound tight end looked like one of the best players at the camp, routinely creating separation across the middle of the field to move the figurative chains.
After the historic tight end recruiting haul in 2021, and landing Andre Dollar for the 2022 cycle, Lyons would be following a trend of elite Ducks tight end prospects to enroll in Eugene if he eventually commits to Oregon.
Given his play Saturday, Oregon should make the Folsom, CA native a top priority next cycle.