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Monday, October 8, 2012
Ducks' recruiting works itself out

By Brandon P. Oliver

Josh Huff
Washington may be winning some recruiting battles, but the Huskies have a long way to go to catch up to the Ducks on the field.
The rivalry between Oregon and Washington seems to be slowly fading away as it has become an annual blowout for the Ducks. With their ninth straight win -- all of which have been by 17 points or more -- the Ducks have established their dominance over the Huskies.

The Huskies have come a long way since their 0-12 season in 2008 and their recruiting under the new staff is a big reason for it. With a solid recruiting class in the works so far this year, another blowout loss to Oregon doesn't mean their commits will begin to look elsewhere.

"Another loss [to Oregon] doesn't really have any effect on my recruitment, but nine in a row does make me think a little bit," said John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan), an athlete looking at both programs. "It comes down to where I fit the best."

A four-star, Ross is one of a few recruits the Ducks and the Huskies are both in the running for. The Huskies did beat the Ducks for commitments from a couple prospects in this recruiting cycle, and that could remain the norm moving forward.

Not every recruit is the right fit for the Ducks' program, so when a recruit commits to Washington over Oregon, it doesn't signal the end of the Ducks' dominance -- it simply means he found a better fit.

While the Ducks would love to see Huskies wide receiver commits Darrell Daniels (Oakland, Calif./Freedom) or Demore'ea Stringfellow (Rancho Verde, Calif./Rancho Verde) make the switch to Oregon, odds are another win will have little to no impact on recruiting in the long run.

Chip Kelly and his staff take a unique approach to recruiting and look for players that fit their system. The Ducks' style works, both on the field and on the recruiting trail. They get the recruits that want to play their style and want to contribute any way they can. The rest takes care of itself.

There are those that worry about Washington, Cal, UCLA, Stanford and others being able to beat the Ducks for west coast recruits. The results on the field have yet to yield any results for those programs when it comes to facing the Ducks.

Recruits know that if they sign with Oregon, they are going to win a lot of games. Winning might not be the end-all, be-all, but if nine straight blowout losses to a heated rival doesn't deter recruits -- they probably aren't the right fit for the Oregon program.

Like always, the Ducks will be fine in February. They'll sign a solid class full of the right type of players. No matter how many recruits that sign with the Huskies over Oregon, the Ducks will continue to rack up the wins where it matters -- on the field.