Thursday, February 7, 2013
Helfrich taking the reins in recruiting
By Brandon Oliver
Every program has one or two coaches who will close the top prospects. The Oregon Ducks have a number of assistants who have been relied upon greatly over the years. The staff has some new faces who will make an impact on the recruiting trail, but the new man at the top was very influential in gaining 19 new signees in the Class of 2013.
Don Pellum, Steve Greatwood, Gary Campbell, Scott Frost and John Neal are the big closers former coach Chip Kelly would turn to during his tenure. Now Mark Helfrich can do the same. Over the last three weeks of the 2013 recruiting cycle, Helfrich had to adjust to his duties as head coach and take the reins on the recruiting trail.
New Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich rallied his staff before signing day and saw only one notable loss from the 2013 class.
Helfrich gathered the troops and went door-to-door in an effort to salvage the Ducks' class. Kelly's change of heart and subsequent move to the NFL rubbed former Ducks' commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) the wrong way and led to his defection to Ohio State. The rest of the class remained intact, and most of the Ducks' commits noted that Helfrich was cool, calm and collected while proving that he is the right man to lead the Oregon program going forward. It was the late surge of commits to Oregon that allowed Helfrich to show that he has complete control of the Ducks' program.
Helfrich led the charge as Oregon snared ESPN 300 DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) away from USC and Texas A&M on signing day. The Ducks' former offensive coordinator made his biggest statement during an in-home visit, where he showed a total command of the Ducks' presentation to Prevot and his family. Helfrich quickly formed a strong bond with ESPN 300 OL Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and showed Hunt that the future looks bright in Eugene.
While Kelly had the personality of a closer with a sharp tongue, Helfrich is the kind of coach recruits and their families can count on to have things under control. By retaining most of the staff, the Ducks' are set up for a big year on the recruiting trail in the Class of 2014.