'Critical' size and power added up front for Cristobal, Oregon
The Oregon Ducks added to their football recruiting haul during national letter-of-intent day Wednesday, landing two very large offensive linemen and three new wide receivers and a touted tight end to catch passes from quarterback Justin Herbert and backup QB Tyler Shough.
"Just a really good job, great job by our coaches to fill a ton of needs," said coach Mario Cristobal, whose seven signees bring the total to 22, combined with the 15 from the December signing period. (UPDATE: The Ducks added two more players to the list, officially making it nine Wednesday and 24 overall).
"We got our share of everything with the class," Cristobal said. "It's the exact kind of guys and talent pool we need to bring in here. We're looking forward to developing them and making them great Ducks."
In December, the Ducks landed Shough and the likes of junior-college cornerback Haki Woods, linebacker Adrian Jackson, running backs Travis Dye and Jamal Elliott, and Oregon preps MJ Cunningham, a linebacker from Madison High, and Dawson Jaramillo, an offensive lineman from Lake Oswego.
Another verbal commit, Eli'jah Winston from Central Catholic, flipped to USC earlier this week. Winston is the brother of UO linebacker La'Mar Winston.
Shough, Dye, Elliott, Woods and defensive backs Steve Stephens and Verone McKinley III already have enrolled.
On Wednesday, the Ducks added to their offensive line with 6-5, 350-pound guard Penei Sewell of Saint George, Utah, and 6-7, 355 tackle Justin Johnson of Philadelphia.
After suffering decommitements from wide receivers before the December signing period, the Ducks landed three on Wednesday: Jalen Hall, 6-4, 190, Long Beach, California; Isaah Crocker, 6-1, 175, Sacramento, California; J.J. Tucker, 6-2, 170, Harbor City, California. Tight end Spencer Webb, 6-5, 235 and from Sacramento, also signed.
Linebacker Andrew Johnson, 6-2, 200 and from Tifton, Georgia, signed with Oregon as well.
Cristobal called Justin Johnson "the human eclipse, a mountain of a man," and added that "an explosion" erupted in the coaches' office when Sewell made his decision. That gave Cristobal, the former Alabama offensive line coach and O-lineman on a national championship Miami team, five new big boys up front. He has made it a point to say that line of scrimmage play will be an emphasis.
"The amount of size and power we added up front was critical," he said.
Cristobal says all the receivers are similar — explosive playmakers — and Webb "is widely regarded as the best tight end on the West Coast and made his way to (being) one of the best tight ends in the country, we firmly believe that."
The recruiting haul did include defensive end DJ Johnson, a transfer from Miami who "was widely regarded as one of the best (prep) players in the country (in recruiting) last year," Cristobal said. DJ Johnson was added to the recruiting list Wednesday.
"We're going to invest heavily in the offensive and defensive lines," the coach added. "That makes everything go.
"'Line of scrimmage, line of scrimmage, line of scrimmage, knock them back, knock them that way.' That's been the ultimate difference in our good teams at Alabama and Miami and ones that couldn't get over the hump."
Cornerback Kahlef Hailassie was added to the recruiting list later Wednesday, making it 24 signees.
DUCKS FEB. 7 SIGNEES
Penei Sewell, 6-5, 350, OG, Saint George, Utah
Jalen Hall, 6-4, 190, WR, Long Beach, Calif.
Isaah Crocker, 6-1, 175, WR, Sacramento, Calif.
Spencer Webb, 6-5, 235, TE, Sacramento, Calif.
Justin Johnson, 6-7, 355, OT, Philadelphia
J.J. Tucker, 6-2, 170, WR, Harbor City, Calif.
Andrew Johnson, 6-2, 220, OLB, Tifton, Ga.
DJ Johnson, 6-5, 270, DE, Sacramento, Calif.
Kahlef Hailassie, 6-2, 185, DB, Elk Grove, Calif.