The Oregon Ducks were relatively quiet on National Signing Day but still found a way to make a major impact on their 2014 roster. Mark Helfrich didn’t have any surprises up his sleeve on Wednesday as he simply took care of business in wrapping up the 2014 recruiting class for Oregon. The biggest move of the day was finally nailing down the commitment of four-star safety Mattrell McGraw who will help to replenish the Oregon secondary next fall.
Coming into the 2013 season, Oregon was considered to have one of the most talented secondaries in the country. But this offseason, they’ll be forced to replace two starters in Terrance Mitchell, who led the team with five interceptions last season, and senior safety Avery Patterson, who chipped in three interceptions of his own last season. That leaves quite a void in the back of the Oregon defense heading into next fall which made landing an impact player on the recruiting trail all the more important.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound McGraw has shown an elite nose for the ball during his prep career with unmatched instincts over the top. He also possesses great versatility to play in different spots in the secondary which only makes him that much more valuable to Oregon’s defense in 2014. The Ducks were finally able to seal the deal on McGraw after being the projected favorite all season long. They had to withstand late charges from the likes of the UCLA Bruins, Florida State Seminoles and Texas A&M Aggies, but they were happy to welcome him into the program officially on Wednesday.
Oregon didn’t make as many headlines as some of their Pac-12 rivals on National Signing Day, but they were able to go out and address a specific need with a talented playmaker. Will McGraw find a role in the Oregon defense right away next fall?