After days of speculation, Oregon recruits were relieved to hear reports that coach Chip Kelly would be spurning the NFL to return to Eugene in 2013.
“Him staying just shows how tight of a family it is in Eugene, and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” kicker Matt Wogan (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) said. “Just extremely happy to see everything stay the same.”
A year after turning down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kelly interviewed with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles before deciding to remain at Oregon. He will return to a team that currently has the nation’s No. 22 recruiting class and is coming off another big BCS bowl win.
The return of the coach has incoming recruits thinking big things already.
“I’m glad Coach Kelly is staying at Oregon next year,” said athlete Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln), the No. 274 player in the ESPN 300. “Even if he was going to leave, I was always going to stay a Duck. Now it’s time to get this national championship.”
Tyree and his twin brother, Tyrell, will play both football and basketball at Oregon, and they say they would have stuck with the Ducks even if Kelly left. In fact, all 10 recruits reached by DuckNation before Kelly made his decision said they planned on honoring their commitments to Oregon.
"[Kelly] is his own man and has goals and dreams like the rest of us. He has done a great job turning the program into what it is. If he wants to, he deserves to explore what else is out there," Tyrell Robinson said. "It has no effect on me and my brother. We like Oregon for the football and basketball programs and intend to honor our commitment to both."
And with Oregon’s success on the field, it’s not hard to see why.
“The minute I saw De’Anthony Thomas return that kickoff [to open the Fiesta Bowl], I was ready to throw on a jersey,” athlete Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), the No. 52 player in the ESPN 150, said. “I’m 100 percent committed to Oregon.”