The Ducks' 2022 class got a big boost this week when Oregon landed Texas wide receiver Stephon Johnson. The class is now ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12, and No. 11 nationally.
Ducks Digest caught up with Johnson to get the inside scoop on what made Oregon the call.
The 6'2", 178-pound wide receiver viewed his scholarship as the opportunity to make a dream come true.
"Oregon has been a school I've been wanting to go to since I was 7 or 8 years old," Johnson said. "I feel like my play style will fit at Oregon. I know I can go there and make an impact off the rip.
"They let their guys play. The receivers--there’s no limit on what they can do. They can be creative with routes and the ball in their hands. They can score the ball and those are things I'm good at."
The Ducks offered the Texas prep in March, and less than a month later he committed--sight unseen.
So why now?
"They didn't offer me until early March but the communication had been there," he said of the staff's recruiting efforts. "When they offered me I felt like I needed to go ahead and make it happen, why wait? Me and my parents looked at the roster and stuff on the inside, we could go there and make an impact."
With schools like USC and Ole Miss also vying for a commitment, various aspects made Oregon different.
"How consistent they were. It was an everyday thing," he said. "I could tell they were being genuine with what they were saying they were gonna do. Oregon is just different all around. The facilities, the coaches, everything, it's top tier."
Most recruits are in touch with various members of the Ducks' staff, but one coach in particular helped seal the deal.
"Coach B Mac (Bryan McClendon). That's my guy. We talk every day. He's a coach you want to play under. He makes you want to play with him. I could just tell he’s a man of his word.
"The things that he’s saying now I feel like he’ll be saying when I get there. He puts out great athletes. When Coach Cristobal says he's one of the best I'm gonna believe it."
Oregon's lone wide receiver is set to be in Eugene for his official visit from June 4 through June 6, but he was up front when asked about taking other visits.
"I'm set in stone with Oregon," Johnson said of his commitment. "Since this COVID stuff came I wasn't really able to take visits. I might take two more visits or however many just to see. I might take my official to USC and maybe Arkansas."
The prospects of having a quarterback in the fold with Gordo (Ala.) prospect Tanner Bailey helped sweeten the pot.
"It kinda helped. I knew before that he was gonna commit," he said of Oregon's 2022 quarterback commit. "Me and him been talking for a while. When he told me he was going I felt like we could be a dynamic duo--that was a good factor."
Johnson's commitment makes him the second player from the Lone Star state set to flock to Eugene, joining Mansfield (Tex.) safety Lando Hullaby.
"I'm originally from Houston. When I was younger around 10 I used to come to Dallas for football events. I met him (Hullaby) when I was 10 or 11 years old and we played on the same team. We’ve been cool for almost eight years."
The newest Duck is excited to join the No. 1 class in the Pac-12.
"I feel like it's a great class right now from the guys we have. I know it's going to keep building and keep growing. Gotta keep growing, keep building," Johnson said.
Speaking of growing, there's a few names he's hoping will join him in Eugene.
"I'm trying to get Chris Marshall from Fort Bend (TX)," he said. "Jacoby Mathews from Louisiana. He doesn't have an offer yet--feel like he'd be a great addition. Evan Stewart as well. Kelvin Banks, that's the main man right there. That's been my boy forever. We grew up together."
He's now shifted from recruit to recruiter for Oregon, and he's got his pitch ready for other prospects.
"Let them know we can go to Oregon and be great, be different. We can win the Pac-12 multiple years in a row. Make a run to the national championship."
Upon arrival in Eugene, Johnson is planning to major in communications with hopes of becoming an entrepreneur and helping his dad expand the brand of his apparel company.
You can watch Stephon Johnson's highlights here.
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