Oregon football lands top-5 recruiting class as it heads to Big Ten

Dan Lanning
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Oregon put together the kind of class that should help the Ducks compete in their new home as they move from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten.

The Ducks are on track to produce their second straight top-10 class. A composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports had Oregon with the nation’s No. 5 class as of late Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

For the purposes of this breakdown of Pac-12 recruiting, we looked at all the schools that competed in the conference this year. That meant including programs that will be entering other leagues in 2024 rather than limiting this report to Oregon State and Washington State.

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Oregon’s class is ranked behind only Ohio State among its new Big Ten counterparts. Southern California’s class ranked second among 2023 Pac-12 schools and would be fifth in the new Big Ten, behind Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and Michigan.

Oregon, Southern California, Washington and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten next season. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are heading to the Big 12. Stanford and California are joining the Atlantic Coast Conference.

LEADER OF THE PACK

Oregon signed three top-50 247Sports Composite recruits in edge rusher Elijah Rushing (37th), defensive lineman Aydin Breland (46th) and wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan (49th).

Other top-100 prospects to join the Ducks included safety Aaron Flowers (71st), cornerback Dakoda Fields (80th) and wide receiver Ryan Pellum (99th).

BEST OF THE REST

USC’s top recruits include wide receiver Xavier Jordan (67th), cornerback Marcelles Williams (91st) and offensive lineman Jason Zandamela (100th).

Stanford is on track for a top-30 class as it gets ready to join the ACC. The star attraction of Stanford’s class is Elijah Brown, the nation’s No. 217 overall prospect and No. 12 quarterback.

UNDER THE RADAR

While it’s unusual to see a College Football Playoff-bound team have a recruiting class ranked outside the top 30, Washington signed only 15 players Wednesday as it continues to rely heavily on the transfer portal, where the Huskies’ additions have included former Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers.

Colorado has employed a similar strategy and has focused on the portal to rebuild its offensive line before heading to the Big 12. Colorado did sign a couple of top-125 prospects in athletes Drelon Miller (65th) and Kamron Mikell (103rd).

As for the only two schools that didn’t leave the Pac-12, Washington State signed more than twice as many players as Oregon State did Wednesday. Neither signed any players regarded as four-star recruits by the 247Sports Composite.

STAR OF THE CLASS

Colorado seemed poised to get the top recruit headed to any team that played in the Pac-12 this season when it got a commitment from Jordan Seaton, the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle prospect. But Seaton remained unsigned as of late Wednesday afternoon amid reports he’s considering a switch to Maryland.

The top prospect who actually signed with a 2023 Pac-12 member on Wednesday was Rushing. The Oregon-bound player from Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Arizona, is rated as the nation’s No. 4 edge rusher in his class.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Oregon benefited from a series of signing day switches. The Ducks boosted their receiving unit with the additions of McClellan (previously committed to Ohio State) and Pellum (USC). They also added offensive lineman Matthew Bedford, who backed out of a verbal commitment to Colorado.

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