Mario Cristobal didn’t need to stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame during his visit to Los Angeles for Wednesday's Pac-12 media day event.
Oregon’s first-year head coach has been accumulating his own stars — mostly four-star talents — during the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Elijah Blades, a dominant cover cornerback currently at Arizona Western College, became the Ducks’ 17th known verbal commitment on Wednesday.
Oregon’s class is currently ranked third nationally by Rivals and fourth by 247Sports.
“Talent acquisition is always going to be one of the three parts that make a program what it is. So we’re very aggressive,” Cristobal said. “But we’re aggressive when we identify something that we see that really fits us at Oregon, what we want to be and what we want to become. Part of being aggressive is being very real. We are very real, very genuine. We attack the process.
“When we see something that we feel needs to be at Oregon, we’re going to get after it and be aggressive.”
At one point last year the Ducks had the nation's top-ranked recruiting class. Several high-profile prospects ended up at other schools, including Florida State, after Willie Taggart left.
Cristobal and the assistants he retained after being promoted to head coach in December — Jim Leavitt (defensive coordinator), Marcus Arroyo (offensive coordinator), Joe Salave’a (defensive line), Keith Heyward (safeties) and Michael Johnson (wide receivers) — were able to hold together a class ranked 17th.
After receiving a commitment from incoming freshman Bryan Addison, a four-star athlete who originally signed with UCLA before being granted his release because of issues with admission qualifying testing, 247Sports bumped Oregon’s 2018 ranking up to No. 13, one spot ahead of Washington.
Addison is expected to compete at cornerback and wide receivers when fall camp opens next Friday.
“He can help us on both sides of the ball,” Cristobal said. “It’s a position where we need help on both sides of the ball, so we’ll figure that out in the next couple days or so. We’re blessed to have him, we’re excited to have him.”
The coaching staff is hosting “Saturday Night Live” again at Autzen Stadium. Some of the top recruits from around the country will attend the camp, which is open for public viewing at approximately 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
“Recruiting is the lifeline of every program,” Cristobal said. “It has to be addressed every single day. I think a lot of times programs are in year two, year three, and you realize you’ve got to fix this and that. Well, it’s too late. Because what you’re recruiting now is going to help you in those years down the line.”
TBJ trophy watch
Oregon senior running back Tony Brooks-James, who is already a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, is on the Paul Hornung Award watch list released Thursday.
The Hornung Award is presented to college football’s most versatile player. Brooks-James has 2,375 all-purpose yards — 1,557 rushing, 399 kick return and 319 receiving — during his career.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert said Brooks-James and redshirt freshman CJ Verdell have positioned themselves as the primary replacements for Royce Freeman after putting in the work in the weight room.
“I expect Tony and CJ to carry a lot of the load,” Herbert said. “Those are guys that have had a great offseason with the strength staff. They’ve put on 10, 15 pounds. They know what they’re doing, they’re experienced running backs, and I’m really excited to see what they can do this year.”