One key indicator in evaluating just how far Oregon has come as a program is in the trends in the general public. When it comes to sports, the clothes and the gear worn by high school athletes all around the country usually provide an idea of where things are headed. Having a kid wear a school's logos is one thing, but to have kids from the deep South list Oregon among their top five schools is a whole new level of positive trend for the Ducks.
This weekend, the Nike SPARQ Football Combine and the Nike Football Training Camp in Charlotte, N.C., provided a pretty clear snapshot of how the Ducks' success and their flashy style of play have earned them respect in the country's most football-rich region. During registration for the events, each player is asked to list their college offers and their favorite schools. Along with the in-state schools and the surrounding programs from the SEC, one other school was the most frequently listed.