Willie Taggart’s motto around his new squad has been, “Do something.” Well, the Ducks just did something. On Friday, it was reported that Clemson defensive lineman Scott Pagano will transfer to Oregon and will be immediately eligible to play in 2017.
Pagano made the official announcement on Instagram earlier this morning.
To My Family, Friends and Supporters: I want to thank all of you who supported me and my decision to transfer over the last few months. When I announced my intentions, I didn’t know how people would react. Thankfully almost everyone was respectful of my decision and wished me well on my journey. I'm very appreciative of that and it definitely speaks volumes of the class and character of my Clemson Family. After taking several visits, I can honestly say there is no place like Clemson. A part of me will always miss Clemson and the relationships I have built here. I'll definitely be back to visit. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to transfer to the University of Oregon for my final year of eligibility and to pursue a Sports Management Master's. This was a tough decision because of all the great programs that expressed interest in me along with having to leave Clemson. I want to thank all the coaches that took the time to get to know me during this process. However, Oregon is where I felt most at home and it is a great fit for me both on and off the field. I can’t wait to get to Eugene to start making new friends and playing for and learning from one of the best DLine coaches in the country. Last but definitely not least, I have to thank my mom, dad, sisters and the rest of my family for supporting me through this process and my entire football career. I know these past few months were not easy on you. I want you to know that I am thankful and feel blessed to have a family who is willing to make sacrifices day end and day out so that I can pursue my dreams. Mahalo and Go Ducks!!!
After Pagano announced he would be leaving Clemson, the offers started to flow in. Oregon was always considered a top contender on a list that included Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Cal, and many more schools, as many as 37, reportedly. Eventually, the Ducks edged out the Sooners for Pagano’s talents.
Pagano, originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, was a 4-star recruit out of high school and was a top-300 player in the country.
Oregon’s defense has been among the worst in the country over the past couple of seasons, so Pagano will fill a huge void, even if it is for only one season.