As far as big recruiting days go, they don’t get much more significant than the one Oregon reeled in Monday. First the Ducks added a pledge from four-star Alabama safety Trikweze Bridges, then Oregon locked up California superstar wide receiver Mycah Pittman.
Pittman made his commitment video available exclusively to USA TODAY High School Sports before distributing it elsewhere. You can see it below.
That’s two big wins in one day for new Ducks coach Mario Cristobal.
Bridges’ commitment, while not a stunner, still qualified as a surprise for the Ducks. The Lanett (Ala.) safety helped lead his school to a Class 2A state title as a junior and gained plenty of attention from around the SEC as a result; he holds 22 scholarship offers, including from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and others.
Yet it was Oregon which stood out because the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder was so impressed with the school when he visited in March.
A similar narrative emerged from California following Pittman’s commitment, though his decision rested more squarely on his relationship with the Ducks coaching staff, as well. That his connection flourished following his release of a recruiting top-10 that didn’t include the Ducks is a surprise, but perhaps not as big a shock as some might expect. Cristobal’s staff has already shown a knack for doing whatever it has to do to win the recruiting war.
“There were a lot of reasons why I chose Oregon,” Pittman told 247Sports. “The two big things for me were the coaching staff and the overall fit. The coaching staff really made me a priority and recruited me harder than anyone.
“Right after I cut my list, I talked to Mike Johnson, the WR coach,” Pittman said. “He hit me up and said, ‘were not in your top 10?’ I told him that the schools that were in my top 10 were the ones that were checking on me consistently and showing me the most interest. He said, ‘all right, that’s all I need to know,’ and then after that, I started hearing from the entire staff. … It wasn’t just coach Johnson, it was the head coach, the defensive coaches, the whole staff basically was blowing me up and showing me how much they wanted me so I decided to go out there for an unofficial visit and that trip blew me away.”
Clearly, Oregon is doing something right when recruits visit the campus. A few more like Pittman and Bridges and Cristobal may truly have the Ducks headed back to the promised land.