At this point in the season how do you know when a recruit is an Oregon target?
Chip Kelly has brought in some of the best recruiting classes ever at Oregon since taking over for Mike Bellotti.
You can call just about any prospect and ask them if they are interested in Oregon. More than 90-percent will answer yes without even hesitating. Why? The uniforms? National title game berth? Cutting edge technology?
Sure. That's some of it, enough to get your foot in the door at least. Also most recruits don't want to close any options at this point either, so you can ask a recruit with few offers or less if they like Middle Tennessee State and they will say yes.
Some tips for identifying a serious Oregon target are simple.
First, read how much interest Oregon has been showing them. This answer will vary and some kids may embellish the truth a small amount, but look for articles that state how much contact and what type the staff is showing them. Questionnaires are the first form typically sent so the staff can get a feel for interest and other elements. It can then vary from standard mail to handwritten letters to phone calls (when permissible) to interaction over facebook and email. Email and facebook are still open channels for the Oregon staff and any other college staff to use.
Secondly look at the recruits offer list and see who they are being recruited by. Does this mean Oregon chases every kid with a USC offer? Of course not, but a prospect with no offers or some smaller division-II level schools claims an Oregon offer could be a red flag.
Lasty, while all of us may not be talent scouts, take a look at the recruits film to see how he looks. This is simply another method to see what he can do and if he could fit what Oregon is doing.
Most importantly, look at how often the recruit is contacting Oregon. If a recruit says he calls the staff every week or more, that is a big sign. The Oregon coaches want recruits that want to be at Oregon, kid's who are showing them just how bad they want an offer. By watching this you can see the staff wants to take the recruits call and the recruit wants Oregon to offer or more.
Our database at Oregon.247Sports.com shows Oregon has made roughly 15 scholarship offers. Now there is certainly a chance that we have missed a few but for all intents and purposes we are confident our database is the most accurate in the business over our competitors.
Why the disparity?
Typically our Duckterritory staff talks to recruits directly about Oregon. Other sites often use stories that have been put up by partner sites, such as UCLA, USC, Washington or other team sites. That doesn't mean the information is not as good, or accurate, but we feel confident our method gives us the most insight as to how much attention that recruit is getting from Oregon and their real interest in Oregon.
We can then confidently post our thoughts on that recruit and their interest level after speaking with them, monitoring tone and hearing about other interests.
Why doesn't Oregon send out offers like it's junk mail?
Oregon does handle offers differently under Chip Kelly. Each recruit goes through an extensive background check before Oregon offers them. While they may not know it, Oregon has already talked to parents, teachers, counselors, pastors, friends and other sources to find out what the recruit is really like. Is he just a good football player or a good person that plays football. Not always will they get it right, and kids are liable to make mistakes as most of us did when we were 17 years old.
Secondly the coaches meet each recruit in person before offering. It may be a brief hello and a handshake but that contact is important. No recruit will be offered by Oregon without these two factors being met. Obviously academics will be a factor in this equation, but that information is very hard to gauge for a sophomore or junior in high school.
As everyone should be mostly aware by now, no recruit can commit verbally to the University of Oregon without visiting first. It could be an unofficial visit or official visit, but one must be taken before any commitment is accepted. Often times, the staff will ask a recruit to go home and be sure of their decision before making that verbal commitment.
What is the difference between an unofficial and official visit?
Common question, simple answer. Recruits can taken an unlimited number of unofficial visits. The university pays for nothing, it's all paid by the recruit and his family. Official visits there a limited number of five for each recruit. They can not take place until after September, ending in February. The University can and does pay for all travel expenses of the recruit and allows them more communication time. If a parent or guardian comes on an official visit, they are not covered, other than a free ticket if they are watching a game.
What does all of this mean?
Not much really, it's just the way Chip Kelly wants things done. It may not be better than any other college, but it is his demand.
Here at Duckterritory we are very much aware of these and other guidelines, and with this knowledge we can take it into account when talking to recruits daily to offer you the best recruiting information available on the web.