On the heels of a loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship Friday night, Mario Cristobal and numerous assistant coaches were on the road recruiting.
One of the first recruits Oregon made sure to see was 2022 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) DE/LB Cyrus Moss, who received an in-home visit from the Ducks on Saturday. He took some time to speak about the visit and his recruitment with Ducks Digest.
"It was really good. We spoke about the game just a little bit," Moss said. "Talked about what’s going on. Really just caught up from there. Kind of just talked with Cristobal a little bit just to get a little bit of confidence on remaining with the squad. That was really good and I felt good leaving that. It was a great visit."
Cristobal's coaching future was the main focus of Friday night's postgame press conference, and I asked Moss what he was told about the head coach's future. The Vegas product also mentioned how a lot has been inferred by the media about the coaching carousel, which can cloud what's really going on across the country.
"Just basically that I can definitely have confidence that coach [Cristobal] is going to be super loyal to the Oregon program. I can have confidence that Coach Cristobal is standing strong by the Oregon program," he said. "Miami still has tons of work to do in that regard so he’s not close to any decision with them or moving anywhere. He seems like he’s pretty set.
"That would be the biggest thing too. There are things people in the media are jumping on that’s not maybe as much of a consideration with him. It’s really such a personal decision."
Oregon lost to Utah for the second time in three weeks on Friday, this time to the tune of a 38-10 blowout. Many would think that a game that ugly could change things in the eyes of recruits, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
"I just have to credit Utah. It doesn't throw things off too crazy cause I know the scoreboard doesn’t tell the whole story," Moss said in reaction to Oregon's performance in the Pac-12 championship. "I’m still interested in their staff. Still on board with how they’re doing everything. They're missing a few pieces. I think a good couple of recruiting classes could really change things a lot. I don't see it as too huge of an issue."
The 6-foot-5 defender was just in Eugene for Oregon's rivalry win over Oregon State, and he was joined by his family on the trip.
"They really like how the Oregon staff treats them. So it's very nice, very respectful," Moss said of his parents' thoughts on the trip. "They always really enjoy the conversations they have with their staff and seem to have a good amount of trust in them. I know they like the option."
When reflecting on the visit, he highlighted seeing Oregon's preparation, specifically seeing practice and sitting in on meetings.
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Next, Moss will hit the road one more time before making his final decision. He'll be in Los Angeles next weekend for his last official visit to USC. This comes just after new head coach Lincoln Riley and Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch visited Moss in Las Vegas earlier this week.
"I would say one of the biggest tings for me with USC--honestly their culture for me was one that didn't really align with me [before Riley was hired]. The culture that Coach Riley is gonna bring in there as he’s described to me is gonna be a championship culture.
"They’re gonna work to improve that immediately. That’s huge for me cuz that was one of the things holding me back from there. I felt that they had all the other tools that they needed. It was just one step off. Coach Riley and Coach Grinch are planning to change the culture a lot and the dynamic of the team and I would really appreciate that a lot."
Moss had been looking at getting out to Tuscaloosa for another visit, but it looks like he'll be taking a trip much closer to home out west. As he prepares to take in the new-look Trojans program, he knows it holds a lot of weight in his recruitment.
"It's super important. I feel like there's a lot still to learn. I feel like there’s a lot of new elements over there. I just want to get out there and feel it for myself. See how different things feel. Get a chance to reevaluate them."
"I've gotten to see their facilities a couple of times in eighth grade. I want to come back and see how the team is now, how it’s like. How do Coach Riley and Coach Grinch influence that squad over there, basically get a feel."
Moss' decision timeline hasn't changed. He still plans to sign with the school of his choice during the early signing period before making the decision public at the Adidas All-American Bowl in San Antonio, which is scheduled for Jan. 8.
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