Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February 27, 2018
As many of the regular readers know, most of my content is premium. On Wednesday's I write an article titled 'Wednesday War Room. Inside the article, I share some insights into recruiting, coaching and personnel moves as well as anything I might be hearing on the recruiting front.

The unfortunate reality is that I think there are a lot of people who would benefit getting to know their team better without having to pay for premium access. There are three sites that deal in premium subscriber content and I think all do a very good job. I have shared space in the media booth with the publishers of all sites; have shared conversation and even a beer or two with others.

The nature of what we do makes it difficult, sometimes, to share much information without being behind the pay wall. I don't plan to revolutionize this concept, but sometimes there is just stuff that is not entirely premium. So, I will share some stuff here today that is nothing groundbreaking; anyone with a computer (or other internet capable device) and twitter can plainly see which prospects are getting offers, so there is no secret.

Coaching Insights: In case people did not know, the Ducks have hired a couple of additional staff. Stephen Field has joined the Ducks as the Director of Recruiting. What is so important about this hire? Everything.

Field is an accomplished on field coach in his own right having served as a a college coach at Miami (2006-08), Hampton (Va.) University (2009-11) and Florida A&M (2016) before becoming the Director of High School Relations at Louisville in April of last year. Before jumping to the college ranks, Field was a high school coach in Florida. A graduate of Palm Beach Lakes High, Field has also been a coach at several South Florida schools.

He is a critical hire for the Ducks who know that they need to recruit nationally and the added Florida connections are very important. The Ducks are also looking to beef up their recruiting operations staff and will be adding some more components in the near future. One name that was recently put out there is Thomas Arends. He has been at Baylor for just one season after being jettisoned by the former head coach.

Arends, who was a recruiting student assistant while attending Oregon (2009-12), continued working under Mark Helfrich from 2013-16 before moving to Baylor. Originally from Sisters, Oregon, Arends is very excited to return to Eugene and will help strengthen the staff.

Recruiting Insights: Last weekend the Ducks held their first junior day and it was a rousing success with very positive feedback from all those who made their way to Eugene. Junior days will be critical moving forward and getting players to visit during this time is very important.

Starting in April of this year, high school juniors will be able to take official visits; which means that there could be quite a few prospects making their way to Eugene to check out the campus. This is going to be interesting because one of the best experiences a recruit can have is the game day atmosphere. With spring visits, that opportunity is gone and there is nothing quite like Autzen in the fall. The facilities will always be there, but without the pre-game experience; running out of the tunnel; hearing the roar of the Harley, the roar of the crowd; the student section going crazy; the experience will not be quite the same.

It will be interesting to watch what Mario Cristobal does here to counter the difficult task of working around the football schedules of elite prospects, while balancing the importance of the Autzen atmosphere.

So, those are just a couple of my non-premium thoughts. I will have more in my formal article tomorrow.