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Oregon DC Tosh Lupoi breaks down every defensive signee in Ducks’ 2024 class

The Oregon Ducks put the final touches on the 2024 recruiting class on Wednesday morning, getting pen to paper for the final two members of a signing class that ranks as the best in school history.

With the addition of 5-star WR Gatlin Bair and kicker Gage Hurych, the Ducks’ 2024 class is now complete.

To celebrate this occasion, a group of Oregon coaches went on with Joey McMurry and Jerry Allen for the Ducks’ National Signing Day show on Oregon Sports Network. The guest list included head coach Dan Lanning, Chief of Staff Marshall Malchow, Offensive Coordinator Will Stein, and Defensive Coordinator Tosh Lupoi.

Both coordinators went through every signee on their side of the ball and broke down each individually while watching some film. Here’s what DC Tosh Lupoi had to say about his incoming players:

DL Aydin Breland

Lupoi: “Aydin, I think the most important thing you need to know about him, as a national champion — how many champions can we sign and bring that to our culture?

Right before the USC game, he arrived and we were at warmups there. I was running up the tunnel to hug my wife. He was waiting at the base of the tunnel. He picked me up and he cracked my rib. Diagnosed by (Kevin Steil); the rest of the season I had a cracked rib. But it was also the feeling of an absolute beast, and me being a helpless man in the air.”

CB Dakoda Fields

Lupoi: “DK, he’s a guy. … I love to see when you rise versus specific competition. So, Long Beach Poly game, 14 tackles. I believe two interceptions. See him playing at a high level of a rivalry game, I think that stands out a lot about being an elite competitor. Other than that, just visiting him at the house, he has an attack dog named, ‘Lambo’ and that’s someone you need to be aware of if you’re in that neighborhood.”

S Aaron Flowers

Lupoi: “Aaron Flowers, gosh just a testament to relentless recruiting. Leading with coach Hampton; did an elite job there with him and his family. This guy really stood out because — we knew that it came down to us and USC in the end — before he made his verbal commitment, coach Hampton put an elite Zoom together and it was one of those things where you put a lot of work toward something — the consistency everyday in the process. As we’re talking through it and going through it, coach Hamp really led that. I was looking through that thing and was like, ‘I don’t care who I am, I’m coming to Oregon after this presentation.’

“This is a guy, too, just kind of confirming when he commits to you, how hard Alabama, Texas, and Georgia never let off. They put on the gas pedal. After you watched his senior season, where I think some of the immature programs are gonna do their evaluations off of sophomore year, junior year, and then stop. The way this guy performed this season, the level he did, we feel like we have absolutely one of the best in the country.”

DL Tionne Gray

Lupoi: “I just saw him listed at 285. That was probably like his fourth-grade bodyweight. Definitely in the 330s right now. Giant, large man. There’s nothing more exciting for me than when you go in to eat breakfast — or last night we had a connection meeting with the fellas that had nothing to do with football, all about life — after that we ate some dinner. To go in there and see these giant, massive men that are the size of NFL players today as 17, 18-year-old men. So, he’s got a long way to improve. He knows that. We’re excited to do that with him and fine-tune his skillet. But from a measurables standpoint, he’s certainly got a head start from that. So you understand, his nickname is “Da Issue.”

 

DL Jericho Johnson

Lupoi: “Nicknamed, ‘Big Co.’ Has his own clothing line. … This guy really stood out at his game; I was really impressed visiting him in person. He didn’t know we were there. It was me and coach Tuioti. You just hear a voice rising in the locker room before the game. And the leadership value — he’s a great individual. Extremely high character. Some of the stories you hear about this guy, where he motivated seven or eight teammates to go to church with him during the weekdays, highly involved there. Probably the best signing day announcement I’ve ever seen in my career in 18 years.”

 

EDGE Jaxson Johnson

Lupoi: “Versatility, that’s what sums up this guy right here. Different skill set. He’s a guy who, as you can see from this film, he’s kind of entering all over the place. Attacking internally. Rolling off the edge. I think what stands out, too, is his production. He played five games this season and had nine sacks. His junior season he had 17 sacks. We spell sacks with money signs — $ack — that’s what this guy is coming after.”

CB Sione Laulea

Lupoi: “I love recruiting a guy who, one, he’s always gonna have a soft spot in my heart being from the bay. Specifically, the EPA here. This guy didn’t have it easy at any point in his life, including coming out of high school. Didn’t qualify. Kept working; became a JUCO player. Again, just like we mentioned with Aydin, how many champions can we surround our defense and our culture with? This guy is another national champion from a really great program led by Tim Tulloch at CSM that I respect a lot. I think that we know what we’re getting with him. Excited about fine-tuning some of these things from a  technique standpoint. But you can see a skillset and an exciting individual here that we hope can lead our defense.”

S Kingston Lopa

Lupoi: “We refer to him as, ‘King.’ Again, Norcal guy. You know what you’re getting when you’re signing a Syd’Quan Thompson product at Grant High School — brother of Shaq Thompson. A place that, again, not the most friendly neighborhood at all times. Tennessee tried to get cute at the end. Their car service actually got lost in the neighborhood and stopped and was reverted and they had to go back to Tennessee.”

LB Kamar Mothudi

Lupoi: “Mothudi, in Setswana, means craftsmanship: one elite with tools and weaponry. This individual plays like that. He represents his last name. He had a Zybek 4.72 (seconds) which is an electric 40 (yard dash). Hand-timed, probably in the 4.5’s. Impressive individual; he’s been working his butt off here. So, excited to clean up some technique with him and attack the process with him.”

CB Ify Obidegwu

Lupoi: “Awesome family — came straight out of Baltimore, Saint Francis. Again, you know what you’re getting with an individual like that. He can take hard coaching. He kind of lit the nation up in the All-Star game where he took a pick-six to the house. So, I hope we see a few of those in Autzen.”

LB Brayden Platt

Lupoi: “Freakish individual. Dual-sport athlete. Actually threw the shot-put as a sophomore over 60 feet. I threw it 47 feet and qualified for NCS. I would not come anywhere near that. That was my senior year, too. This guy is an impressive, explosive individual. Threw the javelin over 190 feet, which is the top national mark. He’ll actually throw here as well. I think it’s important, we’re gonna always look at the PNW first. Our staff, led by coach Lanning, is signing the best of the best twos eason in a row. This guy is certainly nothing short of the best in the PNW.

EDGE Elijah Rushing

Lupoi: “I think what stands out is 31.5 sacks in the last three seasons. So, production starts there. He’s got all the tangibles; 34 ½ inch arms, 251 pounds, 6-foot-6 with an 81.5-inch wingspan. Those are actually NFL measures today. Those were taken when he was 17. Now, it’s about pushing him, getting him to play at a consistent, hard basis and making that technique show up on gameday. Excited to do that with him.”

DL Xadavien Sims

Lupoi: “I really like his versatility. I told our staff the day we were getting him, I’m kind of challenging everybody and see, like, this guy is gonna compete as good as anyone that we’re signing based off the film evaluation. Then, you kind of dive in from his family dynamics and get to know the guy; really excited about this individual. He’s a guy, I’m not comparing him to him, but you see from a versatility standpoint like a Brandon Dorlus. Where he has the ability to dominate the “C” area and then get reduced down and cause problems in the B-gap as well.”

LB Dylan Williams

Lupoi: “I think just speed and physicality. I’m always watching specific film. He played the national champion Bishop Gorman out here in Oregon; we did not attend that game because that’s against the NCAA rules. So we’re able to evaluate that from a film standpoint. At that game, he had 13 tackles. He caused a fumble. And he absolutely lit somebody up on kickoff there. Part of our defensive culture is ball excellence and this guy had four caused fumbles and, I believe, one interception this season. So, I think this guy is a sideline-to-sideline individual and I’m excited to work with him.”

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire