Mario Cristobal is a darn good recruiter... but, we all knew that. The proof is in the pudding.
In his second season as head coach for the Oregon Ducks, Cristobal signed the No. 1 recruit in the nation, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. This season, he has already landed commitments from five-star inside linebacker Noah Sewell (Orem, UT - younger brother of Penei Sewell); four-star receiver Johnny Wilson (Calabasas, CA); four-star quarterback Jay Butterfield (Brentwood, CA); etc, etc.
In his two years, he has obtaining the top two recruiting classes in program history.
Cristobal isn’t afraid of recruiting anywhere, anytime. He was seen recruiting and making home visits hours after winning a Pac-12 Championship. Maybe his tactics and efforts were the reason Cristobal didn’t win the Pac-12 Coach of the Year…. But that’s beside the point.
Here is something that doesn’t come at a surprise: Cristobal in the home of a five-star recruit:
Kelee Ringo is a five-star defensive back from Scottsdale, Arizona in the 2020 class. Ringo has narrowed his future down to five schools: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas.
Here is something that may come as a surprise: featured in the photo (from left to right) is defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, Cristobal, safeties coach Keith Heyward, Ringo and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
On Wednesday, it was announced that offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo accepted the head coaching position at UNLV. A part of every head coach’s responsibilities is filling a coaching staff, whether that be from the previous coaching staff or making your hires outside of the program. Would Arroyo try and hire any Oregon coaches away with him to UNLV? Well, Heyward’s name came up recently as a possibility.
#UNLVfb fans here is a few names to watch for as potential hires on @coacharroyoTheO 1st football staff:— Joe Arrigo (@joearrigo) December 12, 2019
Keith Heyward- S/Co-DC- Oreggon
David Gilbertson- Off Analyst- Oregon
Kenwick Thompson- LB/D Run Coord Fresno St.
Highly likely 1 more Ducks coach (a GA) could be added
On the other hand, those are just rumors and Heyward is still a Duck. You coach and recruit for the team that has employed you. Until that Oregon “O” is no longer on his chest, Heyward will continue to coach and recruit the future success of the Ducks’ defense.
And we like it that way. Oregon’s defense took major strides this year under this coaching staff that has worked so well together. A Pac-12 Championship; a defense that ranked No. 16 nationally in yards per play; No. 9 in points allowed per game and No. 1 nationally in red zone touchdowns allowed.
Add this along with the incoming 2020 class, and that would arguably be hard to walk away from.