Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra cornerback Rodrick Pleasant is one of Oregon's top remaining targets this recruiting cycle. This weekend is a golden opportunity for the Ducks to make a move in his recruitment, as they host him on his official visit.
The 5-foot-10, 173-pound defensive back will make the trip to Eugene with his family and will have his eye on a few things.
"Just feeling the genuineness. I've been up there before. I didn't go with my mom and my stepdad, but they're coming this time and I want to see how they feel about it," Pleasant told Ducks Digest. "It's a great place, great program. And they're heading in the right direction. And being around them, being around the atmosphere, and seeing how everything goes from there from the gameday operation-- that's the biggest thing for me. And figuring out where I would be used in that system."
The Ducks dropped a tough game to Washington last week, but Pleasant isn't going to let one game sway his decision and he likes what he's seen from the team this year.
"Their scheme is amazing. They scheme it up on the defensive side of the ball," he said. "I know that DB'S are in position they just gotta make the plays. I've seen that they're getting better week by week. Just the progression of that group."
Pleasant has heard his fair share of recruiting pitches and Oregon's may be a bit different than other schools.
"Come in, being able to play defense, special teams and then sometimes affect the game on offense. Being a game changer," Pleasant said. "They're telling me come in and be able to be a game changer. They told me I fit into the system and they're gonna obviously show me how. Just figuring out what they will use me and how they will use me."
The Southern California defensive back has one skill you can't teach and that's speed. That speed has generated a ton of interest as a track prospect and he'll get to spend time with that staff during his trip as well.
"They're gonna let me get to talk to the track coach, my parents are gonna get to meet him. That's a big thing for me. I definitely do want to run track at the next level and being being around them-- I know Oregon is Tracktown USA.
"Just being able to see the place and my parents can see the place and have the vibe and that's the biggest thing is getting the confirmation that I will be able to do both there."
The opportunity to play football AND run track will be a major factor in his commitment.
Torres' Take: What Does Dillingham's Departure Mean for Oregon Recruiting?
Weighing in on a big development ahead of the early signing period.
Bo Nix Shares Thoughts on His Future Following OSU Loss
Oregon hopes its star player will return, but Kenny Dillingham's departure shakes things up.
"That is very important for me. I really want to do both," he said. "I love football but I'm really good at track too so I obviously do want to do both."
He's built strong relationships with the Oregon staff including Demetrice Martin, but he's also developed a strong bond with the headliner in Dan Lanning's 2023 recruiting class.
"Dante more. He's been huge," Pleasant said. "I talk to him a lot. He's obviously a great guy, one of the best quarterbacks in the country. But the relationship I built with him. We talk a lot and he's been there for me and he just says 'make the best decision.' But he was like 'Oregon's a great place.' He said, they'll take care of you. And he's letting me know that he would love to play with me."
Who's he hearing from the most right now?
"Michigan, Michigan State, Cal, Boston College, UCLA has been on me heavy and USC's been on heavy now."
His trip to Eugene will be his third of five official visits and he spoke about which schools might get the remaining two.
"Probably Michigan and I gotta figure out the last one," Pleasant said. "Michigan is pushing hard and and Penn State. Penn State was my first offer, they believed in me when nobody else did and they've been pushing really hard about getting me down there."
Pleasant is in no hurry to end the recruiting process. He will announce his commitment and sign in February, making this a more long-term recruitment for the Ducks and other schools involved.
Join the Community
Follow Max on Twitter: @mtorressports