“I would let him date my daughter,” coach Kerry Legarra said about Oregon commit Royce Freeman. Not every player can get a compliment like Freeman, but the 2014 Oregon commits are led by players who not only have shown success on the field but also are good young men.
Legarra, who has coached Freeman since he was a freshman, thinks that Freeman is just as good of a person as he is a football player.
“I think he has made a name for himself because of the person he is. He is just as good of a person off the field as he is on the field,” Legarra said.
The nearly 6-foot tall running back who weighs in at 215 lbs. is praised by many for his size, but Freeman considers himself a balanced back. Freeman has the ability, in the eyes of Legarra, to run just as fast in the fourth quarter as he does in the first.
The top-rated Oregon commit is humble with the opportunity to play at Oregon and says he is “100 with them.”
“I am so excited, just to have that opportunity to be apart of Oregon, nonetheless, it makes me excited. It is a dream come true to see people playing on TV knowing I can be there,” Freeman said.
Freeman ran for 2,824 yards on 256 carries for 41 touchdowns in his senior season, according to maxpreps.com.
Dual-threat quarterback Morgan Mahalak is another player who brings more than his playing ability to a university.
“I try to be as well-rounded as possible. That started with my parents,” Mahalak said.
Though Mahalak has the talent to make a name for himself early in his collegiate career, he wants first to earn the respect of his future teammates.
“With Oregon I would just want to earn the guys’ respect before I would do anything. Just work hard and whatever happens, happens,” Mahalak said.
Mahalak is a quarterback who has limited varsity time starting at the position. Jared Goff, the starting quarterback of the California Golden Bears, graduated the year before Mahalak. With only one year of experience starting at the varsity level, Mahalak has so much more to prove.
“I still think he is scratching the surface. He’s got one year of starting experience at the the varsity level and for him to put up the numbers he put up in one season is pretty incredible,” Marin Catholic head coach Mazi Moayed said.
Mahalak threw for 35 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions while rushing for 551 yards in his senior season, according to maxpreps.com.
The out-of-state commit from San Antonio, Texas, Arrion Springs, has given up time to his teammates so they can possibly get the opportunity he was given: to play collegiate football.
“I was already committed so I’ll just let them go out and try to get an offer,” Springs said about his teammates.
The defensive back grew up a USC fan but didn’t think it was the right time to be a Trojan, so Oregon was the “next best thing” for Springs.
“They’re just on fire right now, so I wanted to be a part of that,” Springs said about the Ducks.
Springs has great speed and instincts, but he says that’s not the only thing he will bring next season.
“On the field I am very fast, I am very smart. I know what’s coming up before it happens. I am very physical, which helps at my position,” Springs said.
Arrion Springs knew exactly what he wanted in a college program. Oregon’s facilities and his relationship with the coaches made Springs consider Oregon a “perfect match.”
Follow Andrew Bantly on Twitter @abant3