You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Class Impact: Oregon Beats USC for Rodrick Pleasant

Ducks Digest on FanNation 2/2/2023 Max Torres
© Provided by Ducks Digest on FanNation

The Ducks added an elite defensive back from Southern California on Signing Day.

Oregon scored a huge commitment on Wednesday when four-star Junipero Serra cornerback Rodrick Pleasant chose the Ducks over the USC Trojans during his commitment ceremony in Gardena, California. 

He's the highest-rated defensive back in Oregon's 2023 recruiting class and undoubtedly the fastest player in the class.

Let's peel back the layers and discuss what his addition means for Oregon.

READ MORE: Oregon legacy Akili Smith Jr. talks Ducks offer


Pleasant is listed on many recruiting services at 5'11", but after getting to evaluate him in person I'd say he's closer to 5'9". That means he has a smaller frame than most cornerbacks we've seen Demetrice Martin recruit in 2023, but don't take that as a slight.

He has elite speed and quickness that will help keep him in stride with any wide receiver he matches up with. What also makes him impressive is that he doesn't strike me as a player who relies on that speed too much. The margin for error is a bit bigger since he can catch up to basically anybody, but he doesn't often dig himself a hole that he has to get out of.

Pleasant also has strong ball skills, as evidenced by his numerous interceptions for the Serra defense. He adds more value in the return game as well. Oregon's newest commit is a big play waiting to happen, which is likely why the coaching staff in Eugene hasn't ruled out getting him involved in offense as well.

From Junipero Serra head coach Scott Altenberg

"He's got tremendous speed. He's very powerful. I think he's even got more upside on his corner game. I think he can keep developing because he's smooth and he can run." 

Recruiting/roster impact

This is a commitment that sent shockwaves up and down the Pac-12, as Dan Lanning and company plucked another top recruit right out of USC's backyard. Lanning wasn't the only coach involved here, as Southern California natives Demetrice Martin and Rashad Wadood also deserve a ton of praise.

After coaching at nearly half of the Pac-12 schools, it feels like Martin joined this staff at just the right time and is just what the doctor ordered to take cornerback recruiting to the next level in Eugene, also flipping Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback from the LSU Tigers.

Pleasant was the cherry on top of Oregon's 2023 recruiting class and shows once again that the Ducks can compete for any recruit in the Southern California footprint.

His commitment also gives the Ducks some juice with another promisign defensive back, his teammate Dakoda Fields. Fields one of the best in the 2024 class and recently hauled in offers from Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

Pleasant could carve out an early role as a gifted returner in his true freshman season, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the rotation at corner given Oregon's struggles in the secondary during the 2022 season. He joins a haul that features four other cornerbacks (Daylen Austin, Cole Martin, Colin Gill and Khyree Jackson) and show the coaching staff's dedication to shoring up the pass defense.

The Ducks finish the 2023 cycle with the conference's top-ranked class once again and they should only continue to ascend the rankings next cycle, already boasting the nation's No. 7 class with five verbal commitments.

READ MORE: Top recruiting storylines from National Signing Day

Join the Community

Follow Max on Twitter: @mtorressports

Join the discussion on our forums HERE

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon