The coaching carousel has already shaken up the college football landscape and will continue to do so throughout the offseason. One area we'll see a huge impact in this regard is on the recruiting trail.
The Ducks hosted a slew of big-time recruits on visits for their final home game at Autzen Stadium this season. One of the top players out west in 2022, offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr., was on campus for the game and discussed his visit with Ducks Digest.
"The game was pretty fun. Great atmosphere to be in," Conerly said. "I had a meeting after with [Alex] Mirabal and [Mario] Cristobal. That was pretty cool. Meeting them and talking to them in person."
Oregon's two biggest coaches along the offensive line have been leading the way for the Ducks in building a relationship with the 6-foot-5, 280-pound prep from Rainer Beach (Seattle, Wash.) High School.
"It's pretty good. I talk to him like every week. Those are my guys man," he said of his relationships with Mirabal and Cristobal.
Conerly was joined by family on his visit, who enjoyed the trip as well.
"My dad usually enjoys any time we go out of town," he said. "He enjoys those two [Mirabal and Cristobal] because of how much they emphasize the position."
Oregon's recruiting pitch isn't all that complicated, but it's certainly something that's making them stand out in a recruitment that was trimmed to 12 schools back in May.
"Really that I'm the priority," Conerly said. "They prioritize their O-line and O-line play. That definitely stands out."
High-level offensive linemen have been coming out of Eugene pretty consistently since Mario Cristobal joined the staff, and the group has only gotten stronger since he brought on Alex Mirabal after becoming head coach. The development and success of the group is another reason the Ducks have his attention.
"You definitely wanna go somewhere where your position is developed the best. That’s definitely a place close to home that does that."
Before pulling up to Eugene for the Oregon vs. Oregon State matchup this past weekend, Conerly stopped by his hometown school, the University of Washington to watch this year's Apple Cup. He offered a bit about his relationship with the staff, which could change depending on what new head coach Kalen DeBoer does with the staff.
"Before everything happened I feel like we had a cool relationship. I did talk to Huff [Offensive line Coach Scott Huff] like everyday," Conerly said. "Since Coach Lake got fired stuff has kinda fallen off a bit. It’s understandable."
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Noah Sewell finished as a finalist in 2021 after another strong season.
On the topic of staff changes, this year's coaching carousel is already shaping up to be one of the most dramatic the sport has seen in recent memory. The Washington prep offered his reaction to what he's seen so far, as well as his thoughts on Lincoln Riley's hire at USC, one of the premier brands in college football and a school he included in his top 12.
"It’s getting crazier by the day," he said. "I like the hire. I feel like it's definitely gonna put the program in a positive direction no matter what happens next year. You got a winner as your coach. I feel like he’ll make a good impression."
As far as other trips, Conerly has only taken one of his five official visits, checking out the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
Moving forward it sounds like he only has one trip in mind: a return visit to Eugene.
"I'm probably take an official there in the next couple of weeks."
Conerly has four official visits left and added what a timeline for a decision looks like.
"I''ll probably be committing in February," he said.
Conerly is definitely one of the biggest names for Duck fans to watch following the decommitment of JUCO OL Percy Lewis last month.
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