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Cristobal Out: Will Oregon’s Recruiting Pipeline In Utah Dry Up, Keeping Local Players Home?

Dec 6, 2021, 3:50 PM
Mario Cristobal - Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes - 2021 Pac-12 Championship...
Head coach Mario Cristobal of the Oregon Ducks looks on during the second quarter of the PAC-12 Football Championship football game against the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The coaching carousel took another unexpected turn on Monday when Mario Cristobal left the Oregon program for his alma mater, Miami.

Over the last five years, Oregon has done a great job recruiting the top talent from the state of Utah to go to Eugene. With every coaching change, players choose to leave that program and commits re-open their recruitment.

The state of Utah is on the rise in college football as the Utes, BYU and Utah State all have won 10 games in the same season for the first time ever. Is it time to get some of these top recruits in the state to stay home?

Oregon Players/Commits From State Of Utah

The Ducks currently have five players from the state of Utah on their roster.

  • Noah Sewell, LB (Orem)
  • Spencer Curtis, WR (Jordan/Weber State)
  • Jeffrey Bassa, LB/S (Kearns)
  • Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL (Corner Canyon)
  • Logan Sagapolu, OL (Skyridge)

Oregon has two players from the state of Utah that have verbally committed to the program, including Corner Canyon LB Harrison Taggart and East defensive lineman Ben Roberts.

The reactions from those players were shared on Twitter when the news broke that Mario Cristobal was leaving Oregon.

Is Oregon Losing Recruiting Steam In Utah Following Cristobal’s Departure?

Cristobal and his staff have been great recruiters for Oregon in the last four years. When he took over in 2018, that staff hit the ground running in recruiting. According to 247Sports, Oregon had the No. 2 class in the Pac-12 and No. 13 in the country. That increased in 2019 with the No. 1 class in the conference and No. 7 in the nation. While Oregon still had the top class in the conference in 2020, they were No. 11 in the country.  The 2021 class was No. 1 in the league and No. 6 in the nation.

A big part of why recruits pick a certain program has to do with the consistency of the coaching staff. As of right now, Oregon doesn’t have that. The program will be looking for its third head coach in the last five years. Willie Taggart spent one season in Eugene, while Cristobal was at the helm for four years.

When talking to Utah football players that commit to the program over the years, their main reasons for choosing Utah is the family atmosphere on The Hill and the consistency of the coaching staff.

Kyle Whittingham is wrapping up his 17th season as the head coach of the Utes. He is the second-longest tenured coach in FBS.

No one is speaking for these players and what their future holds, whether it’s with Oregon or not. But, Noah Sewell’s brother Nephi is a linebacker for the Utes and when Jeffrey Bassa was deciding which school to go to, Utah was a contender.

Utah is playing in their first Rose Bowl after winning their first Pac-12 Championship last weekend. They have won the Pac-12 South Division in three of the last four seasons and continue to bring in great talent and develop them into NFL players.

BYU is going to the Independence Bowl after getting their 10th win for the second consecutive season. The Cougars will be joining the Big 12 Conference in 2023.

Utah State was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Division preseason poll and they just claimed their first conference title after beating No. 19 San Diego State. Now, the Aggies are going to the LA Bowl and will be playing at SoFi Stadium.

The coaches in the state have always put an emphasis on keeping the top players in the state and they are putting the product out on the field that should help convince those recruits to do so.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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