Can Oregon Attract and Keep National Talent?

tt has long been called "the Great Northwest," Oregon unfortunately named "the Beaver State," has been a minor rest stop on I-5 on a trip from Seattle to San Francisco. But with the recent growth in the state and the success of both college football teams, Oregon is becoming much more well known throughout the country.

Reposted with permission from Bleacher Report

(Note: This opinion is the writer's only and is not necessarily shared by eDuck Sports, LLC.)

Their flashy uniforms and high scoring offense have attracted national attention. After being ranked No. 2 in November 2007, Oregon truly became a nationally known name.

On signing day 2008, the Ducks signed seven players from Texas east, while missing out on players like current Miami receiver Tommy Streeter. In 2009, they signed four players from the Midwest, again missing out on East Coast players like Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

The question is, can Oregon recruit talent from east of the Mississippi? If so, can they get them to stay? We have seen players like Justin Roper and Chris Harper transfer, partially because of wanting to play closer to home, but will this trend continue?

The state of Oregon, particularly Eugene, reveals a much different lifestyle than many places around the country. Eugene is a hippy town, stuck 30 years in the past if you get ten miles away from campus. Many players state that they don't like Eugene at all, but love the Oregon campus and athletic department.

With 18 year-olds from across the country coming to play football, they need to feel at home and know that their parents will be able to watch them on television. This national exposure has helped the Ducks in that aspect, but they still lack the allure of USC or Florida.

We accept the fact that Oregon will never be the Trojans or the Gators, but they have and can maintain a niche market among young football players. The spread offense, and believe it or not the uniforms, are a big attraction among high schoolers. LaGarrette Blount once said that a major reason he came to Oregon was because of the uniforms. There were also the comic books Oregon sent out to recruits.

Oregon has found a way to demand attention and other programs should take notice.

Harper and Roper should scare Duck fans a little, but there needs to be trust in the football staff to recruit the right players. Eugene is a unique city and it takes a unique individual to live there. When Bellotti recruited, and now when Kelly recruits, he and his staff must take into account not only the skill, but also the personalities of the players. There are players like Maurice Morris and Kwame Aygeman who were mature enough to live and flourish in a city that may have seemed weird and far away from them.

Chip Kelly, A New Hampshire native, has shown no fear in recruiting the entire country. The 2010 recruiting class already has many prospects from Texas, Florida, and other states on the eastern side of the country.

If he cannot only recruit the talent, but get them to commit, the Ducks could become a perennial national power. The coaching is there and they have a good base of recruiting in California, but to take the next step, they need to recruit the south and the east.

Read more opinions on Oregon Football at Bleacher Report.

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