How desirable is the program Mario Cristobal has built in Eugene to prospective recruits? Desirable enough to entice someone to leave the defending National Champions?
We're going to find out.
Former Oregon target and LSU defensive tackle Siaki Ika plans to enter the transfer portal, Blair Angulo of 247Sports reported Wednesday morning.
Ika had Oregon in his final five teams along with Florida, USC, Utah and LSU when he committed to Ed Orgeron and the Tigers as the nation's No. 159 overall prospect and No. 11-rated defensive tackle in the 2019 class per 247Sports composite rankings.
Angulo reports that Utah and Oregon were seen as runner-ups to getting Ika recruitment years ago and could be seen as landing spots for the 6-foot-4, 340-pound nose tackle.
"Oregon was another notable contender, particularly given the presence of assistant coach Joe Salave'a and involvement of head coach Mario Cristobal," wrote Angulo. "The Ducks have raided the state of Utah in recent cycles, landing the likes of Penei Sewell, Noah Sewell and, in the current class, Top247 offensive linemen Kingsley Suamataia and Jackson Light."
The latter of which has already begun recruiting Ika to Eugene via social media.
Running back Cryrus Habibi-Likio and linebacker Mase Funa also tweeted for Ika to come join the Oregon Ducks.
Why would he choose Oregon? Well, a source told Angulo he wants to go somewhere "wherever he fits best, location doesn’t matter."
Ika has decided to leave LSU as the Tigers transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense, which prioritizes the nose tackle less. While the Ducks do play a base 4-3 scheme, defensive coordinator Andy Avalos has said he uses a multiple front defense and surely could find a fit for Ika, if he wanted to come to Eugene.
What could his pitch be? Well, just look at Jordon Scott: a 6'1", 311-pound nose tackle who has found plenty of success inside Avalos' scheme being a Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention in his lone season under the former Boise State Bronco.
While scheme fit isn't perfect, never count out Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks in a recruiting power, especially against other Pac-12 schools.