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Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Rumors don't hurt Kelly, Oregon

By Ted Miller

Even before his flirtation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oregon coach Chip Kelly heard a lot of rumors during recruiting. Rumors about himself.

"When I heard I was going to Manchester United in the English Premier League, that was a little far-fetched," he said.

Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly didn't let rumors about his leaving Oregon keep him from landing a top-10 class.
Yes, that was far-fetched, but even the general rumors about Kelly not being long for Oregon didn't seem to work well. The Ducks signed 21 recruits for what is likely to become a top-20 class.

There were no negative surprises on signing day. The Ducks flipped a couple of receivers -- Bralon Addison from Texas A&M and Chance Allen from Oklahoma State -- without losing any players who were previously committed. On a day of flips, the Ducks weren't victimized.

Not that Kelly wasn't bothered by other programs using rumors, as well as the Bucs courtship, against the Ducks.

Said Kelly, "I don't understand that approach: 'Please don't go to that school because that coach is successful. Come to ours because our coach is really mediocre and will never be offered a job."

Hmm, wonder to whom he might be referring?

As it was, the Ducks' highest-rated recruit, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, actually cited Kelly's honesty before he committed, saying it was meaningful that Kelly refused to give him a guarantee that he'd remain in Eugene for Armstead's entire career.

In fact, Kelly was able to use his NFL vs. Oregon situation to his advantage. After all, he was asking prospects to choose Oregon over other intriguing suitors.

"I told them I was in the same situation they are in," Kelly said. "I was presented good opportunities and made an educated decision about what the best situation for me was."

Kelly's class featured 10 players on defense, eight on offense, two athletes and one special teams player. The Ducks inked 18 prep players and three junior college transfers. Three were ESPNU 150 players. Nine earned some sort of high school All-Americans, the most in a single recruiting class in program history.

The Ducks signed five defensive linemen and four defensive backs. The only other positions with multiple signees were quarterback, tight end and wide receiver with two apiece.

You can check out the Ducks full class here.