Oregon football received great news today when four star linebacker Danny Mattingly made his commitment to the Ducks. Mattingly originally committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, before opening up his recruitment earlier this month, stating "I'm trying to do what's best." A native of the northwest, Mattingly had narrowed his choices to UCLA, Oregon, and Washington, before choosing the Ducks on Sunday morning.
Oregon recruiting had seemed to be moving slow this year as many rival schools had more commits with more stars next to their names, but this pickup should help allay concerns about players' perception of the program. While a verbal commitment isn't binding until a player signs a letter of intent in February, it should be noted that this type of commitment is what Oregon recruiting has made a living on under Chip Kelly: highly ranked players committed elsewhere who switch to the Ducks late in the recruiting period (see e.g. Arik Armstead, Bralon Addison, De'Anthony Thomas, etc.).
This pickup is also huge because Notre Dame is coming off of an undefeated season and playing for a national championship. There is still a feeling among fans that Oregon isn't beating the other top programs for recruits, a belief that fomented when USC seemed to pick up all of the top talent in California before the end of summer. However, Oregon is now up to 13 recruits in the 2013 class. With the belief that they will take 18-19 total, the group is really starting to take shape. There are a handful of highly rated prospects as well as some classic under the radar players. It should be an exciting six weeks to signing day with a lot more activity before the class is official.