EUGENE — Oregon bolstered its receiving corps on multiple fronts Friday.
New UO coach Mark Helfrich made his first hire, according to multiple reports Friday, tabbing former Oregon State assistant Matt Lubick to coach receivers for the Ducks. Hours later, four-star recruit Devon Allen announced on his Twitter account that he had become the first recruit of the Helfrich era to verbally commit to Oregon.
Lubick's hiring after three seasons at Duke gives the UO coaching staff, by at least one measure, the country's best teacher in the passing game. The website footballscoop.com named Lubick its receivers coach of the year for 2012, his third season with Duke; Helfrich was named footballscoop.com's quarterbacks coach of the year.
Lubick will replace Scott Frost, who is being promoted to offensive coordinator, sources have said. Neither move has been officially confirmed by the Ducks.
Footballscoop.com, which first reported Lubick's hiring, said he will be both receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. Linebackers coach Don Pellum previously has served as recruiting coordinator.
Allen, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound Phoenix native, caught 43 passes for 749 yards and nine touchdowns last fall at Brophy College Prep, according to maxpreps.com. He had previously been offered a track scholarship by the Ducks, according to reports, having run 13.58 in the 110 hurdles and 36.94 in the 300 hurdles to win Arizona high school state titles last spring.
Allen, who made an official visit to Oregon in December, also visited Stanford, UCLA and Florida State. But he jumped at the scholarship offer from the Ducks when it was made this week.
"The opportunity to play football and track at Oregon is big," Allen told DuckTerritory.com. "I get to run at a historic venue like Hayward Field for track and play football on a BCS-caliber football team. I loved my visit and Oregon has always been my dream school."
Allen was recruited to Oregon by Frost, who will be his offensive coordinator rather than his position coach, a job newly filled by Lubick.
A 1995 Colorado State graduate and the son of former Rams coach Sonny Lubick, Matt Lubick coached defensive backs at Oregon State in 1999-2000. Former OSU head coach Dennis Erickson hired Lubick again in 2007 at Arizona State, where Lubick spent three seasons before moving to Duke as passing game coordinator, receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Before working at ASU, Lubick spent two seasons at Ole Miss, where he helped recruit star all-purpose back Dexter McCluster. After joining the Sun Devils, Lubick recruited star linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who just finished a standout rookie year with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.
"Matt Lubick — no offense to anyone I've ever worked with — is simply the best recruiter that I've ever worked with," Duke coach David Cutcliffe told footballscoop.com when Lubick was named its receivers coach of the year, in a vote of other assistants nationally.
The Blue Devils were the only team in the country last fall to boast three receivers with 60 receptions each. Conner Vernon caught 75 passes for 955 yards and seven touchdowns, Jamison Crowder had 70 receptions for 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns and Desmond Scott added 61 catches for 606 yards and two scores.
"Coach Lubick is really big on fundamentals and he's crafted my game monumentally from that standpoint," Vernon told footballscoop.com. "He's a phenomenal coach and a great teacher, but overall he's a better person than all of that."
With Oregon, Lubick will benefit from two returning starters at receiver in senior Josh Huff and junior Keanon Lowe, plus veteran backups Daryle Hawkins and Eric Dungy. Running back De'Anthony Thomas also factors heavily into the Ducks' passing game, and they have a talented core of underclassmen in sophomores B.J. Kelley, Bralon Addison and Dwayne Stanford, redshirt freshman Chance Allen and committed recruits Allen and Darren Carrington.