College football recruiting is a never-ending war that spans programs, families, and often state lines.
A five-hour drive separates the Oregon and Washington campuses, but the recruiting trails of these two programs often overlap. Ducks and Huskies recruit each other’s states and up and down the West Coast and often end up in the final picks for their best recruits. Oregon’s team is full of Washington players, including former five-stars Josh Conerly Jr.who pledged to the Ducks in his hometown of Huskies.
The Ducks have done well in Washington in recent recruiting cycles, but have not done so well in recent years. While coaching teams change quickly in college football, the school never changes.
Oregon’s tight end Moliki Matavao was heavily recruited by the Ducks and Huskies, but dropped Washington from their final four before committing to Oregon over Georgia, UCLA, and Penn State.
“Washington was a good school,” Matavao said after Tuesday’s practice. “But ultimately, this is the best school (Oregon), the best school. It’s going to be a fun environment to play in. And I love playing these great games, and these rivalry games are what makes football super fun. “
While the rivalry originates on the field, players remember when a program from their home state fails to recruit them.
Oregon left back Low TJwho studied at Butte Junior College in Northern California, is a Washington native and admitted after training that while he was not a Husky fan, he had watched several games in Washington.
When asked how Washington’s recruitment for himself went, he quickly replied, “Zero.”
“I was saying earlier, I wasn’t going to say I was a huge Husky fan,” Bass said. “But I would go to Husky games every now and then because some of my friends had season tickets.
“They have a lot of academic talent for a JUCO guy, I think.”
Bass makes reference to former Washington coach Jimmy Lakewho dismissed Oregon as a recruiting rival, claiming they only consider schools with similar “academic prowess” to their competition.
While this season’s quotes haven’t quite reached the bulletin board level, Bass notes there’s a lot of motivation for this year’s team.
“We have a lot of motivation about what’s going on in the season,” Bass said. “Just each week going to what we want to accomplish.”
Oregon and Washington are scheduled for their collision starting at 4pm PST this Saturday.