AURORA — Faaope Laloulu will likely be the largest football player in Oregon history when he arrives on campus next season.
The first offensive lineman to commit to UO’s 2020 recruiting class is listed at 6-foot-7 and 390 pounds as he wraps up his junior year at St. Francis School in Honolulu. Laloulu will shed some of that weight if he follows the lead of a few other offensive linemen who have joined the Ducks since Mario Cristobal took over as head coach last season.
Penei Sewell and Steven Jones both started as true freshmen at left tackle while lowering their playing weight. Junior-college transfer Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu has done the same since arriving in January.
“Sala came in at I think about 365 pounds and his first couple of attempts running down the field, we almost had to call three time outs just to get the drill finished,” Cristobal said while meeting with media members Monday morning prior to the Portland Golf Classic, a UO-sponsored event at Langdon Farms Golf Club. “That guy is now 322 and runs like a deer. He is powerful, explosive and attacks his workouts. … Penei probably came in at 368 and now he’s at 334. That’s a great weight for him. Some can do it at 340 and some have to do it at 300, but our job is to find their maximum output capabilities at their body weight. It has to do with body composition, how they move and how long they can sustain that power.”
Jones was listed at 375 pounds when he arrived at school, but the spring roster had him at 354. Cristobal’s first recruiting class also featured Dawson Jaramillo, Justin Johnson, and Chris Randazzo on the offensive line and each weighed at least nine pounds less in the spring than the fall.
Cristobal said that the Ducks will also take prospects who go the opposite direction, noting that Brady Aiello was around 260 when he arrived and now weighs 310 heading into his senior season.
“We want guys that either have the size and are real athletic or have great size and growth potential,” said Cristobal, who was originally hired at Oregon by Willie Taggart to coach the offensive line and continues to work extensively with that group as head coach. “Some guys are leaner and can put on that size and still be explosive and athletic. Some guys are real massive individuals. I think Steven and Penei are guys that came in with that, but are real explosive and can run real well. You watch these guys run during conditioning and go ‘Wow, how does he do that?’ It is our strength and conditioning program. We develop guys and want them to run as if they are 300 flat.”
Oregon returns all five starters on the offensive line next season including Calvin Throckmorton, who can play tackle, guard and center. Throckmorton missed most of spring ball due to an ankle injury suffered in the RedBox Bowl, but is getting back to full speed.
“He’s doing great,” Cristobal said. “The last week of spring ball he participated in drills, took some light one-on-one work. He has taken part in every workout and done every single rep. He hasn’t had to be modified much, it was precautionary early but not lately. He looks great.”
Also Monday, Oregon picked up its 10th commitment for the 2020 class from Jared Greenfield, a 6-foot, 180-pound safety from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, Calif.
“After a long journey that’s still not over … I am blessed and excited to announce that I am 100 percent committed to the University of Oregon,” Greenfield posted on Twitter.
Greenfield is listed as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com. He joins Avantae Williams and Myles Slushier as safeties in next year’s class for the Ducks.
Greenfield is the second player to commit to the Ducks in three days following offensive lineman Faaope Laloulu of Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday.