The Ducks welcomed some elite talent to Eugene to kick off the month of June, including cornerback Terrance Brooks, offensive lineman Cameron Williams, and Cyrus Moss. Moss placed the Ducks in his top five this spring, along with Arizona State, Clemson, Florida and Notre Dame.
Oregon got the first shot to present their strongest pitch to the 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end, and the staff pulled out all the stops.
Moss called the visit "all-encompassing" and had the chance to tour the football facilities, see downtown, and spend time with current players. The weekend visit was Moss' first time in Eugene, and it didn't disappoint.
After landing at the airport, Moss didn't feel as if he'd arrived for his official visit. That was until the elevator doors opened inside the football facilities and he was greeted by more than 20 screaming members of the staff.
"When I first got out of the elevator there was like 25 coaches that were all cheering," Moss told Ducks Digest. "Before that moment I was looking forward to it but I didn't feel it yet. That was the first time I felt it. It was a shock."
A roaring welcome was one aspect of the visit that left a lasting impression, but was just one of many highlights that would come from an eventful weekend spent with the Oregon football program.
While making their recruiting pitch, the Ducks emphasized the importance of sending players to the NFL, as well as the success they've had in recent years. But Mario Cristobal is always thinking ahead, and is hardly satisfied after winning back-to-back Pac-12 championships and seeing Penei Sewell become a top ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Perhaps that's why he chose to pair Moss with Kayvon Thibodeaux, a projected NFL first round draft pick, as his host for his official visit. The two got to spend much of the weekend talking about college football, technique, and what goes in to making what is perhaps the most important decision of his life to date.
"It was definitely a great time being with Kayvon," Moss said. "That was a big part of it for me, getting to talk with him and getting to hear his perspective."
The defensive end also got to spend time with quarterback Anthony Brown and linebacker Adrian Jackson.
Throughout his recruitment, Moss has made a name for himself as a unique athlete playing for Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, home of the three-time national champion Gaels. Comparisons have become standard with high-level recruits, and a popular one for Moss was none other than Thibodeaux, a tall and explosive pass rusher off the edge.
Does the comparison line up in Moss' eyes?
"I had heard that comparison and I was interested in it," he said. "But once I got to the school and I was with him I was able to really see what they were talking about."
With Thibodeaux projected to go as high as first overall in next year's draft, the staff is hard at work searching for another special talent to fill the void, and Moss is the top option. His reaction to being viewed as the answer is certainly encouraging for Oregon.
"Filling in behind him, I can see their vision in that," Moss said.
Mario Cristobal is one of, if not the most relentless recruiter in the nation, and part of what makes him one of a kind is his attention to detail. He's made it his mission to stop at nothing to personalize the Oregon experience for a recruit, and make it truly special.
While having a conversation with Coach Cody Woodiel, who works with the offensive line as well as in the recruiting department, Moss had brought up that he was hoping to get a Jeep for the summer.
So what did the Woodiel do?
He took Moss on an off-road Jeep expedition on the nearby trails and was joined by Assistant Defensive Line Coach Winston DeLattiboudere.
"I was able to make a great relationship with him even though he probably wouldn't be one of my coaches," Moss said of his time with Woodiel. "It was unique. I would never have expected to do that."
That spontaneity could go a long way for Oregon as Moss tackles the rest of his visit circuit.
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The Ducks just offered the 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year on Friday.
"Every coaching staff might not be willing to go that far off of the general activities," he said of Oregon's recruiting approach. "That’s pretty cool that they were willing to do that and go off script. It shows that they care about what each persons wants."
The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest also stuck out to the Las Vegas native, who described the nature as being like nothing he'd ever seen.
The Adidas All-American spent much of his time with Woodiel, but said that he felt "overall love" from the coaching staff, mentioning Mario Cristobal, Tim DeRuyter, and Joe Salave'a as part of another well-rounded visit put together by the Ducks.
You can add Moss to the list of recruits that have come to Eugene and left with highly favorable endorsements of Oregon's leader.
Cyrus Moss Oregon Official Visit
"He was a great guy and had great passion. He truly just cares for the guys and I could just see it," Moss said of his interactions with Mario Cristobal. "Not just in what he was telling me--he was a genuine guy that cared for his players and his coaches.
"His focus is on winning and getting to the national championship, but they’re trying to do it the right way. He has a great vision in that."
It was a massive visit that likely solidified the Ducks as the leaders in his recruitment. At least for now.
Moving forward he is focusing on his top five, but the defending national champions have entered the picture.
"I’ve curved it down to that--the top five and also including Alabama. I’ll be down to Alabama June 22," Moss said.
The complete run down for the rest of his visits:
- Notre Dame official visit (6/18)
- Alabama unofficial visit (6/22)
- Arizona State official visit (6/25)
- Officials to Clemson and Florida in October
Moss said he's probably going to be back in Eugene during the season for a game. Following his official visits to Clemson and Florida he plans to think about his decision during November, have his mind made up in December, and then announce his decision at the Adidas All-American Bowl Game in January.
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