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The Oregon Ducks are well on their way back to college football powerhouse status, though they never have really lost their relevancy thanks to Nike branding and some of the best facilities in the country.

Still, it’s tough to deny that the past few years have been tough for the Ducks, who at one point were always one of the best teams in the nation — mainly during the Chip Kelly years.

Mark Helfrich didn’t really work out in Eugene. He did lead the Ducks to the CFP and the National Championship game in 2014, but a loss to Ohio State in the title game was the high water mark of his Oregon career. The Ducks went 9-4 in 2015 without Marcus Mariota at quarterback and then 4-8 in 2016.

Oregon decided to switch gears and hired Willie Taggart away from South Florida, a move that has seemed smart so far — the Ducks are currently 4-1, though they are unranked — and it has already paid off on the recruiting trail.

Frankly, that’s the most important spot for Taggart to hit on in the next few years. Sure, Oregon wants to win in the here and now, but program building is vital for a new coach, and so far so good, at least in terms of the 2018 class.

Oregon picked up a huge commitment this weekend and flipped a recruit in the process. Quarterback Tyler Shough, a four-star, flipped his commitment from North Carolina to Oregon. In the process, his commitment and ranking won the Ducks the No. 1 overall class in the 2018 recruiting cycle, according to Scout.com — at least for now.

Shough, who’s a nearly 6-foot-5 quarterback, is ranked as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in his class, according to Scout. He’s also ranked as the top player from the state of Arizona.

Oregon now has 23 hard commitments for the class of 2018. Not a bad start at all for Taggart and the Ducks, especially considering the fact that we haven’t even wrapped up the 2017 cycle yet.

Andrew has been a sports writer since 2010, featured on Bleacher Report, 247Sports, Fansided and elsewhere. His work has also been seen on MSN, Forbes and in the LA Times. Andrew coached high school football for five years and writes about football, and just about anything, for Fanbuzz.
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