EUGENE — Willie Taggart and his coaching staff are focused on securing a promising recruiting class while also helping Oregon’s seniors finish on a winning note.
The Ducks (5-5, 2-5) host Arizona on Saturday at Autzen Stadium (4 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) before closing the regular season on Nov. 25 against Oregon State.
Oregon’s 2018 recruiting class is ranked No. 6 nationally by 247Sports.
Taggart expects the verbal commitments — 23 to date — to officially join the program on Dec. 20 during the new early signing period.
“You say you’re committed, then you hope they all sign. If they don’t then they’re not committed,” Taggart said. “So our intention is to sign all of our guys that are committed. They want to be a part of this and what we’re building.
“That’s what I intend to happen. I don’t know what it’s like at other places, but that’s what we want here.”
Prospects can either sign national letters of intent from Dec. 20-22 or wait until the traditional signing period Feb. 7.
Oregon, coming off a 4-8 finish in 2016, can become bowl eligible with a win over Arizona and/or Oregon State.
If the Ducks are selected for the Las Vegas Bowl, one of the postseason games tied to the Pac-12, the coaching staff would have to adjust its recruiting schedule.
The Las Vegas Bowl is on Dec. 16, which is the final Saturday to host recruits before the early signing day.
“There’s always something that comes up. I’m tired of all the tweaks, to be honest with you,” Taggart said of the change to the football recruiting calendar. “It will be different for the teams, but I don’t think it will necessarily affect whether a kid signs. We’ll still have some time to get out and see them and do the home visit during the contact period. We might have to maneuver some of the visits.”
Oregon’s class includes 13 four-star prospects. The recruiting service’s highest ranking for the Ducks on national signing day was No. 9 for Chip Kelly’s 2011 class.
“Recruiting is going well, as well as it can be right now,” Taggart said leading into the bye week. “It never stops and it never ends until you sign them. But it’s going well.
“We talk to all our guys, and they’re feeling good and still excited about being a Duck. It will be good for our guys to get on the road now and watch some of the guys play some ball.”
Taggart attended Sheldon’s playoff loss to Central Catholic on Friday. His son, Willie Taggart Jr., was among the handful of future prospects in the matchup already being recruited by FBS schools.
Oregon has verbal pledges from four of the top 10 in-state prospects in the 2018 class — offensive lineman Dawson Jaramillo (Lake Oswego) and athletes Braden Lenzy (Tigard), MJ Cunningham (Madison) and Teagan Quitoriano (Sprague).
The Ducks also have six nonbinding commitments from California, four from Florida and two from Texas in this cycle.
“We recruit every single day, all day, and we go at it hard,” Taggart said. “We have to go even harder now as we get toward the end of the season. Our guys have to go out and continue to build those relationships, and continue to sell your message and your vision for what you want for this football program.
“Those relationships are being built and those guys are excited about coming here and turning this program around.”