“It was just the general environment and the feeling you get from being there,” he said. Although he was only in town for a day, Warren took in practice on Saturday and toured the campus and facilities. He came away impressed.
“With Phil Knight putting in as much as he does into that program, I expected a lot,” he said. “But I was still shellshocked.”
Warren wasn’t able to spend much time with the players, but did get to pick the brains of running backs coach Gary Campbell and head coach Mark Helfrich. The three discussed everything from football, to what the coaches wanted in a player, and even off the field hobbies.
“It was really nice,” he said. “They were just down to earth and didn’t think too highly of themselves being Oregon, and having all their equipment, and all of their facilities and all that stuff.”
While Warren wouldn’t classify his relationship with the Oregon staff as close at this point, he did say that progress is being made.
“Coach Campbell has come to the school a couple of times,” he said. “So me and him have already sort of established a relationship. Being up there and talking to everybody is kind of nice and established a good foundation in the relationship.”
Whether or not that relationship will continue to grow remains to be seen. Warren was supposed to trim his list of programs down to five on Monday, but that decision was postponed until further notice.
Following the Oregon visit, Warren indicated the Ducks have a real shot at making the list and subsequently receiving an official visit from him in the future.
“It’s definitely a possibility,” he said. “They could definitely be in there.”
Warren did not want to tip his hand about any other programs that could make the cut, but did identify three that are pursuing him more aggressively than any others.
“Iowa has consistently put in a ton of effort in recruiting,” he said. “Texas has as well, and Texas Tech also.” Warren believes he’ll take at least one official visit during the season following a Thursday night game, but is unsure if he’ll take additional trips or wait until the offseason.