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Thursday, March 28, 2013
Is program success important for recruits?

By Brandon P. Oliver

It isn't often that an athlete who has the ability to play multiple sports in college comes along.

The Oregon Ducks are no stranger to that concept. Highly touted freshman Arik Armstead played a role on defense for the Fiesta Bowl champions, before hitting the hardwood for the sweet 16-bound Ducks. While playing two sports might be an option, or have an appeal to some high school athletes, how do a school's other athletic teams play into their college decision?

Incoming freshmen, Tyrell Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) and Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) have designs on playing football and basketball once they arrive in Eugene. In fact, the Ducks' willingness to let them participate in both sports helped push them to Eugene. Not all two-sport stars want to initially pursue both sports, but that doesn't mean another sport won't have an affect on their recruitment.

DuckNation caught up with some of the Ducks' top gridiron targets in the Class of 2014 to see if they get caught up in the madness and what affect the success of a school's other athletic programs might have on their recruitment. Regardless of what is going on across campus, recruits seem to think that during their recruitment, they will be focused on what they will be heading to college for -- education and football.

DE Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic): "It is good for the the whole athletic apartment to be successful, but I do not think that would change the way I view the football program."

DB Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis): "I think it can help because it shows that the school is growing as a whole, especially in the athletic department. Overall success can play a part to an extent. If other programs on campus are winning, that means there are more events and more fun to be had around campus. I don't know how much it affects me, but it kind of makes the school a better place to be. It's not that big of a deal for me, though. At the end of the day I'm going to play football, and I have to worry about what's best for me. As long as the football program is winning, that's what matters most to me."

QB Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin): "I mean, sure it does. It means you can go watch, and support your school. A lot of people get involved and go to the games when teams are winning, so it would add to the fun by creating a cool atmosphere on campus."

ESPN Watch List LB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra): "It doesn't really mean a lot to me. For someone like Adoree' [Jackson] (Gardena, Calif./Serra) it might play a role because he is an elite track guy that wants to do both sports in college. I mean, of course it should be considered a plus. Wherever you go to school, you should support the other athletic programs because they'll be out there to support you. When choosing a school, the other sports don't really matter when it comes to your decision. It still comes down to academics and your sport, unless you plan to play two sports in college."