Much has been made of the Oregon Ducks football program’s recruiting success landing the Mater Dei quartet of running back Sean Dollars, linebacker Mase Funa, defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson and safety Jeremiah Criddell.
But after a recent official visit to Oklahoma, rumors swirled that Criddell, the nation’s No. 4 athlete according to ESPN, was strongly considering flipping to the Sooners.
Over the weekend, the 6-foot, 188-pound future safety, out of Santa Ana, California, took another trip to Eugene to take in Oregon’s 31-29 victory over Arizona State and set the record straight about his recruitment.
“I was making sure that… I wanted to see what else was out there (at Oklahoma), but I’m 100 percent committed to Oregon,” he said. “I’m 100 percent solid with Oregon.”
Criddell took his Oregon visit alongside Dollars and fellow commit Jayvaun Wilson, but also bonded on the trip with class of 2020 five-star defensive end/outside linebacker Sav’ell Smalls.
“I know basically everybody at Oregon, so it’s a family feel every time I go up there,” he said. “It’s not awkward. I’m able to just chill and be around my guys. It’s always fun getting up there and hanging out with the guys.”
Securing Criddell’s commitment is a significant development for Oregon, as he was the highest-rated defensive back commit in program history when he announced his pledge in May.
While he was topped less than two weeks later by elite four-star cornerback MyKael Wright, who remains an Oregon verbal commit, the celebrated duo isn’t taking anything for granted.
“It’s a cool thing to be said by people, but at the end of the day MyKael and I both have to come in and work hard,” Criddell said. “We’ve got to come from the bottom to the top. We’re not looking to automatically start, or thinking just because we’re the highest-rated DBs, we’re automatically going to be ‘that guy.’ We’ve got to work. It’s a great thing to be called and for people to say about us, but we’ve got to keep on grinding.”
Next up in his recruitment, Criddell said he believes he will be signing his National Letter of Intent with the University of Oregon in mid-December, but remains unsure about early enrollment.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to (enroll early),” Criddell said. “I still have to finish out some religious classes with Mater Dei, but I’m still talking it out with my counselor.
What is certain for the Polynesian Bowl and Under Armour All-American Bowl pledge is planning to be a Duck.