Vanderdoes Calls Oregon Interest "Huge"

Hands down the best defensive tackle on the West Coast, and arguably the top defensive tackle in the entire country, Auburn (CA) Placer five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes has his choice of top programs from all over the country. Where do the Ducks stand in this race, and how strong is the relationship between Vanderdoes and Oregon defensive line coach, Jerry Azzinaro?

Do you currently have an offer from Oregon?


What kind of contact have you had with Oregon since the recruiting process started for you?

"I've had great contact with Oregon. I talk to the defensive line coach, coach [Jerry] Azzinaro, once a week and he wants me to call him if I have anything I need to ask him. If I have any questions, he wants me to call him because he really wants to create this relationship with me because he really likes me as a player and he really likes me as an athlete, so I stay in great contact with him."

When did things really start picking up between you and Oregon?

"It started picking up probably about two weeks before I got the offer. I started getting in contact with ‘Azz' and talking with him. He said they wanted to do a few background checks on me and see how I was as a kid and all that stuff. He called me again the next week and said they wanted to do one more background check and I'll get back with you and then he talked to my coach and my coach told me to call coach Azz again. I called Azz and that's when they offered me."

What is your overall interest in Oregon at this point?

"Huge. I have a lot of interest in Oregon. It's a great program, I like coach Azz and what he has to say; he says he'd take care of me, which I really like to hear. You like to have a coach that's going to take care of you and they're not going to B.S. you at all. I really like that."

Aside from your budding relationship with coach Azzinaro, is there anything else that stands out to you about Oregon when you consider them as a potential option?

"Yeah, I'd have to say from watching them, they all play hard and fast. They're like a team out there. It actually kind of looks like high school and feels like high school where you play as a team and you all play fast and hard. You look at some college programs and it's almost like kind of individual, but [Oregon] plays very well together and I really like that. I like that they're a playmaking team, so it's definitely a good option I'm considering."

Have you discussed with coach Azzinaro potential dates for coming up for a visit?

"Yeah, he said anytime I can get up with my family, he says make it happen anytime I can get there. He's not trying to pressure me being up there, which is really cool. He just told me whenever you can get up here, come up and visit and check out the campus, meet coach Azz in person, meet the staff, check out the facilities...I think I'll probably visit when I go to NFTC in Eugene. That's probably when I'll take my unofficial visit."

How would you describe yourself as a player?

"I play hard. I think I'm very versatile; I can play defensive end, defensive tackle. That's one of the reasons colleges have been coming at me because I can fit in to almost any scheme because I can be a defensive tackle or defensive end or I can play both. I'd have to say I'm a very strong kid, my technique is really good, my separation, my run stopping ability, and my pass rush I think are my strengths."

Has coach Azzinaro specified a particular position he prefers you at?

"We haven't gotten too much in to that yet, but he says he sees me as defensive tackle/nose guard. He says it's not like your typical nose guard; big, not really fast, 300-plus lb. nose guard. He says he likes athletic nose guards, so I like that."

Is there a guy at the collegiate or professional level that you try and pattern your game after?

"Yeah, Ndamukong Suh. I love the way he plays, great football player, and he's absolutely a monster. Defensive ends I really like are Aldon Smith, Julius Peppers...those are the guys I like at defensive end. Also at defensive tackle, I like Nick Fairley...those are all guys I look up to and like to watch play."

You and Arik Armstead are friends. Do the two of you discuss Oregon at all?

"He lets things come to me because he says it's a recruiting process and you only go through it once; make the best decision for you. We don't have too much conversation about it, but it's more my dad and his dad talk a lot about the recruiting process."

What are you looking for in a program?

"The defensive line coach is going to be huge. Is he going to make me better? Is he going to make me better as a person, as a player? Campus lifestyle [is going to be big]; where I'm going to be living for four years of my life, how I'm going to be supported academically, the team I'm going to be bonding with for the next four years of my life -- you always want to have that strong connection with your teammates because that's really important to your success and winning, so that's huge. The head coach and how I'm going to fit in to the defensive scheme, also. Those are the things that I'm really looking at in a college."

Have you given any thought as to what you might want to study when you get to college?

"I like sports marketing; that's something I've been thinking about, and kinesiology. Those are probably the two I've been putting some thought in to."

What are just some of the offers that you currently hold from other programs?

"Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State, Nebraska, Cal, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, Georgia, Utah, Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State..."

Do you have a top five or a list of favorites at this point?

"No, not at all. No top five. I'd say about a month ago I was thinking, ‘Okay, I've got to start breaking these schools down,' but with these new offers coming in, it's kind of thrown in a wrench, so I think I'm going to re-evaluate. I think roughly in about a few months, I'm going to start breaking down a top 10 and eliminating schools I don't feel I wouldn't fit in to their scheme...I'm going make a top 10 out of the coaches that are recruiting me the hardest."

As far as camps, unofficial visits, and Junior Days go, where have you been and where do you plan on going over the next few months?

"June 11, I have the NFTC I'm attending in Eugene, so I'm going to take an unofficial to Oregon at that time. I'm also going to go back up to Cal and catch a spring game or a few spring practices, go back down to UCLA and see more of that campus and talk to the whole staff, and I want to check out Oregon State when I'm up there in Oregon, also."

Eddie Vanderdoes profile

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