Cristobal Discusses 2019 Class

February 6, 2019

National Signing Day, for the most part, has already come and gone with very little drama for Oregon fans.

And that is a good thing. 

The bulk of the work for this class was done and signed in the December period. With a few, but important positions needing help, Cristobal and staff got to work. That led to the additions of DJ James, Jamal Hill and Kristian Williams for the defensive side of the ball for Oregon.

Not a ton of firepower but enough to compliment the firepower already assembled in December. 

Mario Cristobal met Wednesday morning with media to discuss his newest signees. There are a few outliers left out there for the Ducks, most notably Puka Nacua who remains unsigned. 

Here are a few highlights from his press conference on a record-setting 2019 class. 

On the 2019 Class:

“It’s been an exciting and fulfilling morning for us. Oregon remains an extremely powerful national brand. We’re as excited as can be.”

On DJ James (cover corner):

“We know how hard it is to get those guys. (cover corners with length) We live in a conference where we need those kind of guys. An awesome young man, just like Jamal. Full family support and endorsement to come out to Oregon.”

On Kristian Williams:

“We wanted a true 3-technique. Kristian caught our eye at the end of the first recruiting cycle and we started wondering why we haven’t been recruiting him yet. Saw opportunity and saw how people are genuine with him. The power of the brand is strong.”

On how Oregon was successful:

“The goal is the elite student athlete. But we want to increase the caliber and the level of young man we want to bring in. Length is at a premium. With the transfer portal out there now it’s easier to move on when things don’t go your way. So you want tough-minded individuals. We have fun with social media but when we get down to it we look you in the eye and it’s based on the truths and a championship program.”

On Highly-Ranked Class:

“I always have this statement in my head from Jimmy Johnson. He goes you can say what you want about the highly-ranked class, I’m concerned with how they play. The older guys have to embrace the younger guys. We must create the right kind of competition within the program. Competition is not a threat. It’s a 2-way street. You gotta take a deep dive into each other, get to know each other. That is a process. We’re very clear about that process from the get go however.”

On lack of big-body DT’s out West:

There are at times. Guys like Shane Lemieux and Calvin Throckmorton. Guys like Steven Jones and Penei Sewell. The defensive tackles have been harder to mine out West, harder to find. We almost went to Germany this year. You gotta seek them out. I know we’ll use our relationships to find those guys. You’d hate to fly over some good ones because you didn’t cultivate your relationships enough.”

On Replacing Staff/Facing Turnover:

“Ironically it was an item in yesterday’s team meeting. Transition is part of it. A year ago the transition was difficult. A year ago we recruited position-specifically only. This year’s approach was multiple guys were assigned to certain recruits. Then if something happened the relationship was in tact. Coaches come and go. It’s still about the guys in the locker room. When people come and go you wish them the best. We’re in the process of replacing those guys as well.” 

On the transfer portal:

“I think the first thing that sticks out to me when I think transfer portal, coming in second place might be better than first place down the road. If that makes sense. We’re not really actively using the portal, at this time. You like to be between 82-85 (Scholarship) guys. If we didn’t hit like I thought we would, I would probably be more active. It’s free agency but at the same time it’s not.”

 On WR Coaching Hire:

“We feel good about the process. We feel good where it’s at. We’re close to hiring a guy maybe within the next few days or maybe even a week.” 

On being ‘over’ scholarship limit:

“That’s something we’ll figure out.” 

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