The Ducks hosted a massive collection of recruits from all across the country for their annual Saturday Night Live camp this weekend. One visitor however, 2022 cornerback Jahlil Florence, didn't have to travel far from his hometown of San Diego to make the trip to Eugene.
Oregon is still looking for its first cornerback pledge in its Pac-12 leading 2022 class and Florence is one of the top options. Ducks Digest caught up with to get the latest on the trip.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner didn't compete as much as he wanted to Saturday after landing awkwardly on his knee, but highlighted a matchup against one player that has seen his stock rise on the recruiting trail all summer.
"The competition was good," Florence said of his time at SNL. "I went one rep against Jurrion Dickey. I came down wrong on my knee and my coaches told me to sit out.
"There were a lot of ballplayers out there from all over the country. Jurrion Dickey was the best offensive guy I saw. He was stepping up every rep. Feel like he was the best receiver, I really wanted to go against him. He was balling for sure. He’s an elite route runner."
Many schools, Oregon included, have seen a massive wave of commitments this summer, and Florence continues to hear from the staff on a consistent basis.
"I hear from Oregon pretty much every day. They check in with me every day, check in with what's going on," he told Ducks Digest. "Me and Coach Chance will talk about my 7-on-7 tournaments coming up. We chop it up every day about what I can work on. Cristobal reaches out every day. They make sure to make it known that I’m one of their top priorities."
His conversations with the Oregon cornerback coach have fostered a strong relationship.
"Really we touch base on an outside of football type level," he said of his interactions with Rod Chance. "We can talk about stuff outside of football. It really makes it easier to talk to each other. He’s close with my dad and my mom. He can call them up any time."
A variety of factors are at play with Florence and the Ducks, including a hometown connection and the lightning fast pace at which Mario Cristobal and his staff are reeling in top-tier talent.
"I just love what they’re doing with their program," Florence said of what stands out the most about Oregon. "They’re building something super nice with their class of 2022. Gracen Halton is from my hometown and he’s committed there.
"Coach Cristobal is just making something great with Oregon right now. That’s something everyone wants to be apart of."
The constant communication could pay off in a big way for the Ducks and help separate them from other contenders as he works toward his college commitment.
"That’s big right there and I keep that in the back of my mind when I make a decision. I'm keeping in my head schools that are being consistent and making me a priority."
Further strengthening Oregon's chances with one of the stronger DB's out west is their NFL output at his position, with four defensive backs selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"That’s one of the big things right there. They're taking them to the next level and they're competing at the next level. That plays a big role."
Oregon isn't the only school in pursuit of the Lincoln (San Diego, Calif.) star. He released a top three of Oregon, Michigan and Washington earlier this year, but feels like he may have moved too hastily. Even so, he's still hearing the most from a select group of schools.
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"Recently I closed my recruitment down too soon. (I've) kind of opened it up. I'm hearing from Oregon a lot, they're making a really big push, making me a priority. Mainly my top three, other schools here and there. Colorado is trying to make a push, Cal is getting into the picture as well."
What's he liking about Oregon's Pac-12 rival Washington?
"I'm really close with Coach (Will) Harris, Coach Lock (Colin Lockett) and Coach Terrence Brown. We relate because most of us come from the same background, they're California guys. They really produce DB’s. I really love with what they're doing with their defense."
Michigan, the main BIG 10 school in his recruitment, is also making a strong case after receiving an official visit in June.
"I talk to Coach (Courtney) Morgan and Coach (Steve) Clinkscale a lot. Coach Morgan was recruiting me when he was over at Fresno State. We connected really well. He has a good relationship with my parents as well. I really love their program and the life after football. They have really good networking and stuff like that."
The San Diego product isn't sure if he'll sign or enroll early, but a decision could be on the horizon.
"I feel like a decision should be coming soon. I’m not sure yet. I'm still processing it.”
When he puts on a pair of headphones or gets handed the aux chord, he enjoys listening to Lil Baby and NBA Youngboy.
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