Oregon has kept the pedal to the metal on the recruiting trail this spring. Fresh off a commitment from 2023 wideout Ashton Cozart, the Ducks hosted the top junior college recruit in Malik Benson from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.
The visit left a very strong impression, and Benson reflected on his favorite part of the trip.
"I think my favorite part of the whole visit was getting to go there with my whole family," he told Ducks Digest. "All of us getting to experience that. The minute that I had the jersey on and I stepped onto that field, it just felt electric."
Hutchinson WR Malik Benson
Malik Benson dons an Oregon uniform while he poses on the throne during his official visit in Eugene.
Oregon put in the extra effort to make sure they created a family atmosphere and got everyone involved in the experience.
"They had the music playing while they're taking pictures. My little eight-year-old brother, he's in there he's just dancing," Benson said. "He's he's having a good time and they let my 15-year-old-brother dress out with me, get in the picture with me and he’s in the whole uniform."
Hutchinson WR Malik Benson Visits Oregon
Malik Benson (1) poses with his family during a photoshoot on his Oregon official visit.
Benson's recruitment has boomed the second time around as an elite junior college recruit, and the Oregon visit set itself apart from what he's experienced before.
"I felt like my visit was different because they made me feel like there's really a want and a need," he said. "Just the little things like just getting my siblings involved, letting them put on the gear, that was everything.”
After making his first trip out to Eugene, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound playmaker left with one very clear takeaway.
“It’s good for me to know after leaving Oregon that it's a priority that they get me. They’re gonna do anything and everything to get me. Their actions are speaking louder than their words."
His time in Eugene also gave him the chance to spend some quality time with Dan Lanning, who has shown him a clear vision for taking the program to the next level.
"Just Coach Lanning and all the people that he’s surrounded himself with to make that program do what it’s gonna do," Benson said. "I feel like he got the right people cause they’re gonna turn that program into a national championship program.”
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In case you needed any more convincing, Benson was adamant that his visit to Oregon set the bar for his remaining four official visits.
"Yes sir. It’s gonna be other schools that we go see, that are gonna have to top that, that shot.”
With his first official visit in the books, Benson will head to Baton Rouge to see the LSU Tigers as he begins an SEC swing in the month of June.
What's he going to have an eye on during those trips?
"Just really if they can top what Oregon did," he said. "Like every place I’m going is a big name; Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, they’re all winning programs. I just have to get that feeling, it has to feel like home.”
Benson is going to take all of his trips to get a taste of what each of his finalists have to offer before making a commitment.
"It’s gonna be some time in the middle of July. I’m gonna take all these visits and then I’ll probably post it on Twitter just like what I did with the top five. I haven’t really looked that far. Just in this last home stretch taking these visits before I think about when I want to commit.”
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