Oregon Improves Chances with McGraw

Louisiana defensive back prospect Mattrell McGraw talked about his official visit to Oregon last weekend...

River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian defensive back Mattrell McGraw took his official visit to Oregon over the weekend, accompanied by his family. With his list down to the Ducks and UCLA, he got a chance to give a final in-person evaluation to one of his possible destinations next year.

"It was good," McGraw said. "My mom got a chance to see everything, all of the facilities and stuff like that. She got all the questions that she really wanted to ask answered. Overall the trip was just a success."

McGraw landed in Eugene on Friday. His host was freshman cornerback Juwaan Williams, and he spent a lot of time around other freshmen on the team to get a sense of what it will be like to be in their shoes. After taking in practice, he talked with junior running back De'Anthony Thomas about what it's like relocating to the Pacific Northwest.

"He told me how hard it was for him leaving L.A.," McGraw said. "He told me that Oregon is a very good place and that he felt like it was the closest place to L.A. to him. He had no problem leaving. It was a challenge, a little bit, but after a while he got used to it."

Then McGraw spoke with junior cornerback Terrence Mitchell, who notified him that he and the other defensive backs knew plenty about McGraw from secondary coach John Neal.

"Me and T-Mitch talked about the scheme a little bit," McGraw said. "We talked about Coach Neal and how all the DBs watched my game that was on ESPN earlier this year. They congratulated me on my season and said that my style would blend in. They were telling me how much Coach Neal likes me and how much he talks about me. That was real cool."

McGraw has mentioned on a few occasions how strong his bond is with Neal. During the visit, McGraw got to sit in on film sessions and said he was told to feel at home by the other DB's. Neal then discussed where he sees the three-star athlete contributing.

"We just talked about the position and stuff that I'd be in if I were to come there," McGraw said. "He told me how much they need me, how much they want me, how he's looking forward to me next year as a freshman. He said he doesn't normally say that, but he told everyone at the DB position that he plans on playing me next year and that I'm one of those guys that can contribute early."

McGraw said he plans on picking his school on television on National Signing Day. But after the trip, it looks like Oregon made its mark for now.

"This trip definitely helped Oregon," McGraw said. "It didn't separate them by a mile from UCLA or anything like that. It just improved their chances. I'm quite sure the UCLA visit will improve UCLA too, so it's going to come down to the very end of things."


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