Plattenburg has clearer picture after UO trip

Houston (Texas) Lamar cornerback John Plattenburg took an official visit to Oregon over the weekend.

John Plattenburg took an official visit over the weekend to Oregon where the Ducks dismantled Tennessee, 59-14. Plattenburg's hosts were a pair of freshmen, cornerback Tyree Robinson and his former high school teammate, offensive tackle Cameron Hunt. The four star prospect said that it was a successful trip, made easier by being shown around by a familiar face.

"Of course I went to Oregon with an open mind," Plattenburg said. "I've been to Oregon, but I was in Beaverton for The Opening, so I didn't know much about it. I talk to Cameron probably every other week and he tells me great things about it. So I really couldn't wait to get up there and see what it was all about."

Hunt hasn't been the only one sending Plattenburg good vibes about the program. Fellow cornerback and verbal commit Arrion Springs has been steering Plattenburg toward Oregon with the possibility of playing together and continued to do so on Monday.

"I was talking to him a little bit about the visit and stuff, about where he'd fit in and where I'd fit in too in the good possibility that might happen," Plattenburg said.

During the trip he sat in on defensive meetings and talked with secondary coach John Neal and head coach Mark Helfrich about what kind of program Oregon is aiming to be.

"We talked about the future and what I wanted to do in school, what I'd like to do playing wise," Plattenburg said. "What I'd like to do playing wise, my goals, where I fit into the program and where me and Arrion would fit into the program together.

"When I talked to Helfrich, we kind of went over the same things. He told me a lot about himself and the program they are trying to build. Even after Chip Kelly left, only one guy left with him. To me that's a great feeling that they're trying to build a program and stick with the program, not just only find guys to build an up-and-coming program."

In addition to possibly joining the bevy of talented cornerbacks the Oregon depth chart already boasts, Plattenburg is leaving his options open to taking over another high profile spot in the Ducks system after talking with the coaches.

"They really thought I could come in and make a big impact early competing for a spot," Plattenburg said. "Even the talk of going to offense, because De'Anthony (Thomas) could be leaving this year or next year, and coming up and trying to take that spot in a competition is an option."

The position Plattenburg is referring to is a hybrid running back/slot receiver role. According to him, after a talk with Helfrich he said that they would leave the door open for Plattenburg to choose which side he feels more comfortable playing on, but at the end of the day the 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete just wants to contribute.

"I told him that if I were to go there, I'd do anything to just help out the team the best ways I could," Plattenburg said.

Then there were the facilities. The brand new football operations center behind Autzen Stadium was one portion of the trip that really stood out to Plattenburg. Citing everything from the nutritionists to the training staff, he said that Oregon has all the tools to make an athlete successful.

"I've never seen anything like that in my life," Plattenburg said. "Even without the facilities it was a great visit, but with the stuff that they have it's pretty hard for someone not to be successful or get to their full potential training wise."

Next up for Plattenburg is a visit to Texas scheduled for next weekend, with a planned a trip to Wisconsin (Oct. 11) in the distance. Baylor and TCU could also be schools that receive a visit later on, albeit unofficial ones. After leaving Eugene, Plattenburg said he still has a some things to evaluate, but that it did help paint a clearer picture.

"It put things in a better perspective," Plattenburg said. "It gives me a lot of things to think about. Of course, I still have to look at the majors that they have academic wise and compare details to other schools that I might be thinking about."

There is no set timetable for Plattenburg to make a decision. It could be sooner than later, but he did say, "when the gut feeling knows, it knows."

"I've got back-to-back visits with Oregon and Texas and who knows, I might have one the next weekend," Plattenburg said. "It depends on how the thought process goes. It might be early. Of course, there might be more schools that offer me later on in the season, but I'm probably going to take my time on it and think about it thoroughly."

After the Texas visit next weekend, Plattenburg plans on taking a brief break from recruiting to focus on his team and break down schools if he doesn't take a visit the following weekend. Though several options still exist for him, it seems one conference could be falling out of favor.

"I don't really think I could see myself in the Big Ten unless it was an Ohio State or something like that," Plattenburg said. "The Big Ten is a running conference and compared to the Pac-12 or SEC or Big-12, they don't really have people in my ideal position that really make it to that next level…but it's a possibility still, right now it's still up there."

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