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Commitment Analysis: Byron Cardwell to Oregon

Byron Cardwell
Byron Cardwell

THE STORYLINE

Byron Cardwell wanted to take his recruitment toward the end of the cycle by design.

The four-star running back from San Diego (Calif.) Morse hoped to take visits, didn’t want to rush a commitment to an early favorite and he wanted to see which schools really cared about him and showed love throughout the recruiting process.

Some top schools emerged but Cardwell could not take visits because of the coronavirus shutdown. Some dropped out and others popped in. Oregon was a school that offered in December, Texas A&M and Cal were involved for a while and Auburn offered just weeks ago as former Boise State coach Bryan Harsin took over the Tigers’ program.

With just days before National Signing Day next week, Cardwell decided to commit to the Ducks on Monday, another massive recruiting victory for coach Mario Cristobal and his staff in the closing days of the 2021 class.

WHO IT BENEFITS

Oregon already has the top class in the Pac-12 and Cardwell is another major piece to another outstanding group under Cristobal and his staff. The Ducks did not get involved until much later than other programs but Cardwell always liked Oregon a whole lot and once the Ducks got involved they became a serious frontrunner.

From five-star quarterback Ty Thompson to a plethora of receivers and tight ends to five-star offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia and a bunch of other outstanding players, Cardwell is the sole focus at running back in this class and with his physical capabilities and playmaking ability he could be special in Oregon’s attack.

WHO IT HURTS

Cardwell has lots of family in the state of Alabama and Auburn tried to sneak in late and steal a four-star running back but it was not meant to be. That would have been a big, early recruiting victory for Harsin and could have established the Tigers more in the West region, a place where a lot of national programs have hit up in recent years.

Cal was involved for many months with Cardwell and it looked for a while that the Golden Bears could land the San Diego Morse standout. Once Oregon offered, though, that became more difficult. And Texas A&M was serious about Cardwell for some time and his powerful style could fit Jimbo Fisher’s offense well but the Aggies should be just fine across the board.