oregon sports

Chip Kelly & the Oregon Ducks: The recruiting kings of the Pac-12

Ducks’ Recruiting Powerhouse

Much of the reason that so much success can be attributed to the Oregon football program in recent years is the way Chip Kelly has been able to establish a successful and efficient recruiting system.

Bringing in players like De’Anthony Thomas, LaMichael James, Devon Blackmon, Colt Lyerla, and many other standout high-school athletes has been essential in establishing Oregon Ducks football as one of the premier destinations for football in the nation.

The Ducks have soared to new heights under Chip Kelly’s recruiting system and have consistently produced one of the top recruiting programs year-in and year-out.

While there are many outstanding programs in the Pac 12 that rival the recruiting production (namely USC and California) Oregon is able to produce, the Ducks have been the kings of Pac 12 recruiting in the past few years.

Though teams like USC and California may be able to bring a group of recruits in that ranks higher in terms of average star rating (based on a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 star rating system), the Ducks are able to sign the recruits that they want and need for the system they run.

Sure, USC gets more high-profile recruits and the guys that look great on paper, but the Ducks are able to get the guys that will make their team operate much more efficiently.

Here is why they have been able to do so:

The Ducks are Quite Good

If you haven’t noticed, the Fighting Ducks of Oregon have become quite a national powerhouse in football as of recent years. They have appeared in three consecutive BCS Bowl Games, one of which included a last-second loss to Auburn in the BCS National Championship.

They have dominated Pac 12 play and have only suffered two in-conference losses during their historic Pac 12 run.

Crowned as Pac 12 Champions as well as adding a Rose Bowl victory to their resume as they beat Wisconsin in 2012, the Ducks are the premier football program in the western region of the United States.

This success has fostered a winning mentality at Oregon and has been essential in the growth of the football recruiting program.

If nothing else is certain, winning makes your recruiting program better.

No high-profile recruit wants to go to a team that will not see him placed in the spotlight every Saturday night. These athletes want success, they want publicity, they want Oregon.

The recent accolades the Oregon football program has received has been a big player in bringing in the recruits that the Ducks need to ensure success in the future.

With a full house for every home game, who wouldn't want to come to Oregon? (photo carleyerickson.wordpress.com)

Facilities of the Future

From Autzen Stadium located near the banks of the Willamette River to the brand new John Jaqua Center for student-athletes, the University of Oregon boasts the top facilities in the Pac 12 in terms of their athletic program.

With a storied history as one of the most intimidating places to play in college football, Autzen stadium creates an unparalleled atmosphere for each and every home game that the Ducks use to feed their passionate play during the games.

However, it is no longer only the thrill of Auzten that is bringing a multiplicity of recruits to the Duck football program.

Cited as two of the nicest athletic facilities in the nation, the Oregon locker room and training center for athletes (known as the Casanova Center) are an attractive draw for any high-school athlete looking to upgrade from their high school gyms.

The Nike Connection

Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman are the only two names you need to know in order to understand why the University of Oregon is able to bring in high-profile athletes year-in and year-out.

Spearheading the success of Nike, arguably the top athletic gear line in the world, Bowerman and Knight have donated countless amounts of money and time into improving not only the facilities at the University of Oregon, but helping to bring the best and safest gear to the Ducks.

Uncle Phil, as he is known to many of the students and student-athletes, can be seen roaming the sidelines of every football game, getting to know fans and athletes alike as his favorite college program soars towards another victory.

Adding further incentive for recruits to come to Oregon, athletes are consistently given top-of-the-line products by Nike as they seek to develop the technology and fitness of the future.

Having a close connection to Nike and the many benefits they provide surely draws the attention of many recruits all around the nation every year.

The Uniforms

Hand-in-hand with the Nike connection comes some of the hottest-debated uniforms in the nation.

With over 100 different possible uniform schemes to choose from, the Ducks have no hard time in coming up with new ways to awe their fans.

Though some of their uniform combinations have surely been misses, a lot of recruits feel drawn to the Oregon football program because of the way the uniforms connect to today’s young athletes.

These athletes not only see the top technology in the uniforms, they actually see a style and design that is in place to motivate them to play fast, to play hard, and to finish.

In fact, one-time Duck LeGarrette Blount (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) said that one of the reason that he chose the Ducks was because of their uniforms.

Although his senior season was shortened by an incident at Boise State, Blount turned out to be one of the most successful backs in Oregon history (in terms of one-year production).

Love ’em or hate ’em, the BEST Ducks uniforms are definitely responsible for drawing more recruits to Eugene.

Chip Kelly

Coach Kelly knows how to get the recruits he needs to win ball games

The Fans

Autzen doesn’t just raise itself to 120 decibels naturally – it needs its passionate Duck fans to unleash their inner quack.

Though sometimes credited with a hostile reputation, Oregon Duck fans are some of the best in the nation, especially when it comes to backing their team by creating one of the biggest home-field advantages in college football.

Not taking a seat from game-start to game-finish creates an unparalleled atmosphere, something that has echoed across the nation and struck fear into the hearts of opposing teams.

Taking a recruiting visit to the University of Oregon and witnessing the Autzen Zoo in person is surely a game-changer when a recruit decides to attend the University of Oregon.

Though the facilities may be nice and with the team looking ‘fresh’ in their new Nike gear, Oregon would not be Oregon without their passionate fan base.

So, Duck fans, if you wanted to find a reason as to why Oregon is the recruiting king in the Pac 12, you do not need to look any further than the closest mirror you can find.

Your support of not only the Oregon football program but the Oregon community as a whole has created a passion and drive that is only seen in the best programs throughout the nation.


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About Chris Anderson

NWSB Editor. Chris hails from Eugene, Oregon; home of the Fighting Ducks. If he is not viewing, writing about, or attending sporting events, Chris is running on the trails Eugene offers or out-and-about. Aspirations to exceed expectations. Connect w/ Chris today!
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