Oregon fans may not be too happy with their coaching staff right about now, but it would be pretty tough to complain about the recent success of the program. They are doing a lot of things right up in Eugene and not all of it has to do with Uncle Phil's money that never stops coming in.
At the top of the list of things that Oregon does well within the football program is recruiting. Despite not being in an ideal location surrounded by a ton of high level talent, they have consistently brought in top 15 classes the last five years and have more blue chip talent on their roster than most of their opponents.
But what really allows Oregon to sustain their success on the field is that they not only recruit talent, they also recruit very specific to their scheme. I know it's easy to say that every program strives to do that, but the continuity on the Oregon coaching staff has allowed for Oregon to do this extremely well.
The easy thing to point out to back this up is the speed that Oregon has had and continues to bring in at the skill positions on offense. From LaMichael James to Kenjon Barner to DeAnthony Thomas and on to current commitments Taj Griffin and Malik Lovette, there's an obvious pattern of skills that Oregon targets in recruiting. It's pretty obvious they value speed over size at the running back/slot receiver position.
For the defensive line they are pretty much the polar opposite though. Based on how they play their front three, they want size and specifically height and length at those positions. Again, the evidence is based on who they currently have on their roster as to who they target. They have giants playing the position with heights in the range of 6'5" to 6'9. They prioritize that kind of size at the position and it's exactly why they targeted a player like recent commitment Gus Cumberlander.
Cumberlander is 6'6" and is listed as high as 250 in some places with the frame to add plenty of more weight. Those are the kind of dimensions they look for that best fit the scheme they run on defense.
You can check out some senior highlights from Cumberlander below:
Is he the type of player that can bring an immediate impact to the Ducks defense? The straight answer is no.
His best asset right now is his frame and his potential to develop. He lacks violent hands and is not overly explosive off the ball right now. For Oregon, that's okay though. At the position they are bringing him in at, they value size more than explosiveness and he moves well for his size. Remember that even though Arik Armstead has developed into a very good defensive lineman now in the Pac-12, there were plenty of schools and recruiting analysts that projected him to play offensive line. Oregon valued what he could bring to the defensive line and it has paid off for him and them thus far.
Oregon is one of the favorites with another higher ranked player that has the kind of dimensions they covet in Punahou (Hawaii) defensive end Canton Kaumatule. He's 6'7" 270 and has the potential to be a dominant player in the Pac-12. Cumberlander is not near the player Armstead was as a high school senior or that Kaumatule is now, but not many at that size are.
The important part for Oregon is that Cumberlander is a rare player because of his size and growth potential. They feel they can develop him into a productive defensive lineman down the road in their scheme. He may not have a ton of huge offers, but the fit is much more important than the ranking for their coaching staff.