Another month and another couple of solid players added to the already impressive roster of the Oregon Ducks.
First we have Da’Jaun Riggs, a 3-star running back fresh out of St. John’s in Washington D.C. He committed to the ducks this Monday, choosing the University of Oregon over Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
Riggs, joining in as the 19th commitment for the Ducks, is 6-foot and 202 pounds. While he’s ranked No. 768 overall, he’s also No. 58 amongst running backs in the class of 2024. When speaking with Ducks Digest, he explained his reasoning for choosing Oregon over the other colleges. “Oregon was the call because of Coach Lock (referring to Carlos Locklyn),” he had said. “I saw something in him that I didn’t see in a lot of running back coaches. I feel like he can get me to where I need to be in life–not only for football but in life, with jobs, being a father and things of that nature.”
Lingering on Coach Locklyn, he had explained that they connected some during his trips to Eugene when considering where to go. “We have similar backgrounds. Me and him had to work for what we had to get, so I know he’s gonna push me the same way I’m gonna push him to be a better coach,” Riggs said in his interview. “Just being around him, getting to know him and what he’s been through his whole life was really a great thing. That was a major piece on why I came to Oregon. I know if I work hard and do what I have to do I’m going to be very impactful at the University of Oregon.”
What really set Oregon apart, though? Well he made sure to touch on that as well. “Offense. One of my important things was how people use their backs. A lot of schools say their back are very versatile but really their backs are not that versatile. Coach Stein understood it and watching film with him and him telling me how his offense is was one of the major reasons why I came to the University of Oregon–because I saw how their offense was and how they use their backs at all positions.”
Joining him will be 4-star offensive tackle JacQawn McRoy from Pinson, Alabama, who announced his commitment to the Ducks back on Saturday rather than his other options, those being Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Kentucky. McRoy has been rated as a No. 59 overall player and No. 3 offensive tackle within his class. He’s a big guy, too, standing at 6 feet and 365 pounds. For those wondering why he chose Oregon, he was quoted as saying to On3, “Once I saw everything, I knew I loved it. After being up there for two days in the spring, Oregon was on top. Oregon has the best of the best. They look the best, and they have the best facilities. They have the best support — it’s everything a recruit wants. I am going there and now it’s up to me; I will have everything I need and I will get the coaching to be successful.”
As it turns out, one of the biggest keys to getting him on the side of the Ducks was offensive line coach A’Lique Terry, who he built a friendly relationship with. “He is a younger guy, so we relate to each other and he is just cool,” McRoy had said to On3. “I see him differently from how I see other coaches. We can talk about anything and he is like a big brother. He is older than me, he is an adult and I respect him as a coach, but our relationship is different. I can’t wait to play for him.”
Then, of course, comes one of the biggest draws: the head coach himself. “He recruited me hard, and he made me feel important,” McRoy said. “Coach Lanning told me I can come in and make a difference in the program. I love Coach Lanning and his younger staff. It’s just different.”
McRoy and Riggs both show great potential on the field, and we expect Dan Lanning will know how to use their strengths to score a couple wins. Ducks fans are excited about the coming season and are happy about the commitments. We can’t wait to see how these two young men will do on the field, but I suspect we’ll have a couple new stars with names to remember.