In the previous years, February 6 was known as a national holiday for college football fans and programs around the world. National Signing Day is where the top football recruits in the nation would put their pen to paper and sign away the next 3-4 years of their lives to the college of their choice.
Because of the new early signing period (started last year) that took place in December, a lot of the drama reserved for today had been displaced to December.
Still, Oregon was part of the drama as defensive lineman Kristian Williams decided to wait until today to announce his college decision. The four-star prospect out of Memphis decidedly chose Oregon as his final destination, adding to the signatures of safety Jamal Hill and cornerback DJ James, both three-star prospects from the South.
“We were able to land the exact prospect that we wanted at the exact position of need,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said of Williams.
“With the long, rangy receivers we have in this conference and the prolific offenses we face, we find ourselves a guy with elite twitch who can stay with some of the bigger WR types,” Cristobal added of James.
With those three having signed their national letters of intent and faxed them into Oregon, Logan Sagapolu is the lone handout. Although there were whisperings that he’d signed his letter, the Ducks had yet to receive the letter and make the announcement at the time of this story.
Oregon is now up to 25 signed prospects (26 with Sagapolu) — six of them are already enrolled in classes and will participate in spring practice, beginning March 7. Cristobal said he expects 4-5 more signees to enroll in April, allowing them to participate in the final 10-11 spring practices prior to the Spring Game on April 20.
The Ducks don’t appear done with the 2019 class.
Graduate transfer Juwan Johnson from Penn State has yet to make a decision on where he’ll play his final season of college football. But he did visit Oregon recently and thoroughly enjoyed his trip to Eugene, making the Ducks a finalist for the 6-foot-4, 231-pounder’s talents.
“It was really good. It was everything I was expecting going out there and then some. Coach Cristobal was great and coach [Marcus] Arroyo was also great," Johnson told 247sports of his trip to Oregon. “They definitely made it known that I’m someone that they need and I’m definitely taking that into consideration when it’s time to make my decision."
Oregon is also in the running for four-star wide receiver Puka Nacua. Nacua, a current USC commit from Utah, was expected to sign his national letter of intent today but has decided to wait until a later time because a final decision hasn’t been made.
His finalists are USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon. With USC losing its offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to the NFL, Nacua’s recruitment began to open again. Combining that with his MVP performance in the Polynesian Bowl and it’s no wonder why Nacua has emerged as one of the hottest prospects on the west coast.
While the Huskies appeared to be the favorite, Oregon had last chance to make an impression as it was the final school to host Nacua. According to reports, the Ducks completely wowed the Nacua and are now seen as the prohibitive favorite depending on who Cristobal hires as a new wide receivers’ coach.