It's National Signing Day!!! Oregon, which is coming off of a Rose Bowl season and a head coaching defection scare, is full steam ahead in landing some of the nation's top recruits. 5 star recruit Arik Armstead and 4 star recruits Dwyane Stanford, Brett Bafaro and Alex Balducci share their thoughts on Chip Kelly and why they chose Oregon.
Arik Armstead, 5 star DT/OT out of Elk Grove
Highly-touted defensive line prospect Arik Armstead, out of Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, Calif., announced he will play college football next fall at Oregon. The 6-foot-8, 295 pounds made the announcement official this past weekend and joined the MSP to talk about his thought process behind recruitment. Scout.com
rates Armstead as the No. 2 prospect overall in the country and as the
No. 1 offensive tackle. The recruiting site 247Sports ranks him No. 4 in
the nation as an athlete (meaning he has multiple position
possibilities). Armstead chose Oregon out of a lineup of hats that included USC, UW, Notre Dame, Cal, UCLA and Oregon. Armstead, who also plans to play basketball at Oregon, is the Ducks top defensive line recruit since Haloti Ngata in 2002. Arik, one of the most well spoken young men the MSP has had on the show, shows off his accolades and what he brings to the Oregon family. How did he come to choose Oregon after he seemed very committed to Cal and even USC? Arik also explains the reason why his nickname as a kid was "Puff". Check out Arik Armstead on the MSP
Bret Bafaro, 4 star LB out of Liberty HS in Hillsboro
Brett Bafaro in 2011: 91 total tackles, six sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2011. Was named Northwest Oregon Conference defensive player of the year and 5A first-team all-state linebacker.
Duck fans should be excited because: Bafaro played both linebacker and running back out of necessity to help his team win. Although he was a second-team All-NWOC running back, Bafaro said he will have no problem never again touching a football unless it’s while returning an interception or a fumble recovery. Offense is simply not for him. Bafaro’s first love had been baseball for much of his life. His grandfather, the late Chuck Bafaro, was a legendary baseball coach at Pacific University where the baseball stadium is named after him. Brett’s father Blayne Bafaro starred on the baseball field at Pacific, as well. Brett grew up with baseball consuming his life and shared some stories with Chad about his grandfather and father and what those role models did for him in his athletic and personal development. Bafaro, though, prefers tackling ball carriers over tagging base runners. Nevertheless, that won’t stop him from kicking around the idea of attempting to play both football and baseball at Oregon. He said UO baseball coach George Horton has invited him to walk on. Bafaro, who will be the first major college football player to come out of Liberty since the school opened in 2003, said he turned down scholarship offers from Oregon State, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Portland State. Bafaro said he’s excited about playing in Aliotti’s eclectic, attacking scheme built on speed and depth.
Check out Chad's conversation with Liberty's finest, Brett Bafaro
Alex Balducci, 4 star DE, Central Catholic Rams in Portland
Alex Balducci in 2011: Had 68 tackles with seven sacks in 2011 on his way to being named Mt. Hood Conference and Class 6A defensive player of the year.
Duck fans should be excited because: If Balducci develops into the interior terror his high school coach Steve Pyne envisions, UO fans might have to thank the likes of former Ducks, quarterback Dennis Dixon and running back Jonathan Stewart for the assist. It was when their run as starters began in 2006 that Balducci became hooked on the Ducks and ever since has hoped to one day play college football in Eugene. So when the opportunity presented itself, Balducci wasted little time, issuing an oral commitment to Oregon last June. Rams coach Steve Pyne said Balducci might be able to play both inside and outside. Balducci has the athleticism to handle himself on the edge and the size to grapple with offensive linemen on the inside, as well. Most of all, Pyne said, Balducci has a great work ethic, good motor, is agile and athletic for his size, has a high football IQ, and has matured into a great leader. Balducci had major college prospect written all over him the moment he walked onto the Southeast Portland campus, Pyne said. Balducci also played offensive line on about 50 percent of the team’s snaps in 2011 and was named all conference on that side of the ball, too.
Dwayne Stanford, 4 star WR out of Taft in Cincinatti
Dwayne "Too-Tall" Stanford's profile looks like this: He's 6'5", 185 pounds and he is taller than you. Too tall and too tough to beat. Proclaiming that his strengths lie in the red zone and that Scott Frost wants to use him a in role similar to how the Ducks used Lavasier Tuinei, Stanford comes to the Ducks from Taft HS in Cincinnati, Ohio. Stanford was recruited by the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame... the list goes on and on. Oregon landed not only a highly touted and desired recruit, but also one with a confidence that beams through you, showing off his swag in a way that's not arrogant, but one of knowing what he can bring to the table and following through with it. In committing he's turning down offers from virtually the entire Big 10 and most of the SEC and ACC. The Army All-American selection had 32 catches for 720 yards and nine touchdowns, earning him first team all-district and all-league honors. Stanford talks with Chad about what Oregon can bring besides football, sharing his desire to go into sports business and the advantages of having a company like Nike on his side. Check out "Too Tall" and how he got that name on the MSP.