The game of recruiting in college football has become such an arms race in today’s day and age that one of the biggest factors, more so than coaches on the staff or talent on the field, is the facilities that end up convincing a player to come to your school.
Luckily for the Oregon Ducks, there appears to be no school in the nation that is better equipped to awe their recruits with facilities.
According to a recent poll of the nation’s top football recruits conducted by 247Sports, the Ducks have the best facilities in the nation, better than traditional powers like the Georgia Bulldogs or Notre Dame Fighting Irish. At the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, 247Sports asked the recruits which team impressed them the most during their recruitment when it came to facilities. After 88 players were polled, Oregon came out on top.
Here’s what 247Sports’ Collin Kennedy had to say about the Ducks’ Hatfield-Dowlin Complex:
Claiming the top spot at No. 1 overall is Oregon. The Ducks tallied 12 votes in their favor, narrowly taking the victory over Georgia.
Oregon’s elite facilities spare no expense when its comes to extravagance. Despite opening prior to the 2013 season, the Ducks’ $68 million, 145,000-square foot football nest hasn’t aged a bit. Nike god Phil Knight ensured amenities were top-level in the football ops welcome center. Look to the right and there’s a Heisman dedicated to Marcus Mariota along with the Ducks’ ‘bowl room’ with rings from every game. It’s a must-see.
When completed in 2013, Oregon’s self-cleansing lockers were state-of-the-art and trend-setting, one of Nike’s finest innovations and many programs have followed suit. And there’s marble showers and Ferrari leather chairs that make this locker room quite cozy. Oregon was one of the initial programs to incorporate a barber shop into its player lounge. There’s a 40-yard digital-sensor electronic track on the mezzanine level, one of the few in the world.
There’s NFL player lounges that aren’t as nice as Oregon’s digs, fashioned with custom Italian rugs and mammoth TVs. The nest overlooks the practice field. One neat feature we haven’t mentioned that players love? Oregon’s players are outfitted with several Jordan exclusives each season, models that will never reach the public retail counter.
To show what type of competition the Ducks were up against to gain this top overall ranking, here is a list of the teams in the top-7 of the list:
Oregon Ducks (12 votes)
Georgia Bulldogs (11 votes)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9 votes)
Alabama Crimson Tide (8 votes)
Ohio State Buckeyes (6 votes)
Clemson Tigers (5 votes)
Michigan Wolverines (4 votes)
On top of the already existing facilities on the Oregon campus, the Ducks are also in the works of creating a new indoor practice facility next to Autzen Stadium, which is expected to be completed in 2024. The new facility will be among the region’s most energy-efficient buildings, with a goal of powering the building with renewable energy generated onsite.
University of Oregon unveils plans for new indoor practice facility to be completed by 2024
So in the never-ending arms race that is college recruiting, it’s been made clear that the Ducks are on top when it comes to giving the players a place to perform. There are no signs of slowing down, either.