The Ducks got amazing news Friday evening with the verbal commitment of four-star wide receiver Troy Franklin, the nation's No. 2 wide receiver.
However, one comment made about why he chose Oregon caught my eye.
“I like what they are doing with the program,” he said per Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian. “I think it’s on a verge of a natty.”
Franklin's not the first Oregon commit to say he chose Oregon because he wants to compete for college football's ultimate prize.
Four-star recruit and the nation's No. 4 tight end Moliki Matavao had the same sentiment last month.
"I want to be a part of a winning program," Matavao told Jon Tritsch right after his commitment. "I want to go win a national championship. It's a big accolade."
When Mo Matavao became an @oregonfootball Duck live on @8NewsNow . It doesn't get much better than celebrating a great person during his great life moment.@MatavaoMoliki @Libertyotball pic.twitter.com/ZH4BDvL1ET— Jon Tritsch (@hometownJT) May 28, 2020
Four-star inside linebacker commit (No. 4 in the nation) Keith Brown told The Athletic what he sees the 2022 Oregon football team accomplishing, too:
"The No. 1 defense in the country, and we’ll be in the national championship without a doubt because we’ll have good guys coming in, too."
Clearly, the upcoming recruiting class is confident in the direction of the program and who can blame them?
The Ducks are coming off a 12-2 season that concluded with a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl victory in just Mario Cristobal's second season as head coach.
Plus, Oregon has found historic success on the recruiting trail under Cristobal which means more and better talent has been stepping foot on campus than ever before.
In 2019, the Ducks had the nation's No. 7 recruiting class. One year later, the Ducks fell to No. 12, but still had the best class in the Pac-12 conference plus secured a pair of five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.
Now, Cristobal has the Ducks poised for what he considers could be the best class in program history: "We're big game fishing."
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Paul Swangard, the voice of Hayward Field.
After Franklin's commitment, the Ducks jumped to No. 8 nationally with thirteen commitments, including nine four-stars. If ranking by the quality of the school's average recruit, Oregon would be seventh.
But, they're not done yet. Oregon is the presumed favorites for all of the following:
- Four-star Dont'e Thornton, the nation's No. 6 wide receiver
- Four-star Xavier Worthy, the nation's No. 40 wide receiver who is set to commit on June 27th
- Four-star Keanu Williams, the nation's No. 19 strongside defensive end
- Four-star Terrance Ferguson, the nation's No. 14 tight end
- Four-star Jaylin Davies, the nation's No. 12 cornerback
Cristobal and the Ducks are putting together a monster class full of recruits that chose to go to Eugene, Oregon over attending national powerhouses such as Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson.
To make that call, the recruits must trust in Cristobal's vision for the program and that Oregon will be contending with those teams in the near future.
It's easy to see why. Despite the Ducks losing four-time leading tackler Troy Dye to the NFL last season, Cristobal has loaded the defense with enough talent that Oregon is projected to have the nation's second-best defense next season per SP+.
Former Ducks cornerback Anthony Newman joined Talkin' Ducks on NBC Sports Northwest recently and said that next year's secondary could be the best one in school history as it's loaded with NFL level talent.
So the defense will ball out but what about the offense that's losing quarterback Justin Herbert?
Well, former four-star recruit Tyler Shough seems poised to take over the starting role and the full belief of his current teammates.
“He knows what he’s doing," said Bryan Addison last season. "Whenever Tyler is in the game it’s just like (Herbert) is in the game. Really, they are two of the same to me.”
Plus, the Ducks have added offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead to reinvent the offense and take it to the next level. Despite not having great success as head coach at Mississippi State, Moorhead killed it as offensive coordinator at Penn State.
In his first season as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, Moorhead won the Big Ten and placed 21st in scoring offense (37.6 points) and 50th in total offense (435.6) nationally. They also shattered then-school records for total offense (6,056), passing yards (3,650) and points scored (526). Sports Illustrated and Yahoo both named Joe Moorhead the nation's No. 1 rising assistant coach in August 2017 ahead of his sophomore season in Happy Valley.
In his second season, the Nittany Lions shot up to seventh in scoring offense (41.1 points) and 19th in total offense (460.3 yards), once again setting school records. Given the weapons Oregon has on offense returning and joining the program, Moorhead should be able to do some damage.
Pair that offensive mind with Cristobal's dominant offensive line and now Oregon's elite incoming skill position talent from the elevated recruiting, not only should the Pac-12 be worried, but so should the nation.
Recruits are enrolling with the intent to win a National Championship and the coaching staff has been laying the groundwork to make it happen.
Now even fans are getting ready.
Oregon winning a Natty within the next 3 years... book it.— AK🖤 (@CantStop__AK15) June 13, 2020
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