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2024 DE/OLB Elijah Rushing Talks Earning Oregon Offer on Unofficial Visit

Rushing discussed the Ducks' new coaching staff and what it was like to receive an offer from Dan Lanning.

There are few players who are more aptly named than 2024 defensive end/outside linebacker Elijah Rushing. The 6-foot-5, 228-pound sophomore from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Ariz. is the top-rated edge rusher in his class, according to 247 Sports, as well as the top-rated player in Arizona.

It was a busy weekend for Rushing, who had already reeled in offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Utah, and Utah State. He visited Eugene this weekend, and while on the trip he earned his sixth Division 1 offer from Oregon.

"I got pulled aside by Coach [Dan] Lanning, and we were just talking in his office about just kind of how I felt about Oregon," Rushing told Ducks Digest. "He just gave me the news there that I had an offer from the University of Oregon. For me, it was a surreal experience, obviously first going to Oregon on the visit and then being offered on top of that. I can't even explain it. It's just a different feeling."

The remarkable trip for Rushing began Friday when he arrived in Eugene, and that night he had dinner with the coaching staff and some of the other prospects in town. On Saturday, he got to check out the facilities, meeting rooms and meet the coaches on an individual level.

"We got to meet the coaches and hear their story, just learn who they were as individuals, what their reason for coming to Eugene was, and how it's a family thing," Rushing said.

Rushing got to spend time with Inside Linebackers Coach Jake Long, quarterback analyst Jordan Somerville, and Defensive Coordinator Tosh Lupoi, as well as Lanning. He enjoyed talking with Lanning about his vision for Oregon as a first-time head coach.

"They want to turn the Ducks into a dynasty and build a dynasty from the defense up," Rushing said. "Just build a dynasty that's gonna last a long time."

A few of the coaches that Rushing met with know a thing or two about dynasties, as Lanning and Lupoi helped Alabama win the 2015 national title under Nick Saban, who has won six national championships in 15 seasons in Tuscaloosa.

"Coach Lupoi and Coach Lanning both have the same mentality when approaching the game and approaching what they want to do at the university," Rushing said. "I have a lot of faith in their vision and what they're gonna do."

Coach Somerville has been the lead recruiter in Rushing's recruitment, and Offensive Coordinator Kenny Dillingham has also been involved in his recruitment. Rushing and his coaches were in contact with Somerville while he was at New Mexico as the Lobos' recruiting coordinator.

Rushing, a Tucson native, connected with Somerville and Dillingham over their time spent in Arizona, as Somerville was a graduate assistant at Arizona State and Somerville coached at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale.

"They're both easy guys," Rushing said. "It was already a great connection, just knowing that they're coming from a place that I love and a place I stay in, so we already had the bond."

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Coming into the weekend in Eugene, Rushing had high expectations for the trip. He had taken unofficial trips to Arizona, Arizona State, and Notre Dame, but Oregon blew him away.

"I went in there expecting to learn something new and hear some tips and tricks from the coaches," Rushing said. "Just learning what I could do different, how I could fit into their defensive scheme, and their overall vision for the future.

"They lived all the way up to the expectations. They actually exceeded what I thought."

The exciting weekend was capped off with his seventh offer from UMass, a program that Rushing said is one of the two schools that is contacting him the most right now, along with Oregon.

The young edge rusher doesn't have any future visits set in stone, but expect to see him back on the road in the spring.

When asked if Oregon would be one of the schools that he tries to come back to in the spring, Rushing simply replied: "Absolutely."

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