Madison’s Niu to become Oregon’s backer

The Oregon Ducks have come to the conclusion many other schools have found over the past decades, and they’re getting better at executing it than their NCAA counterparts.

San Diego is a recruiter’s paradise, and the major chips are falling their way.

Madison linebacker Sampson Niu is joining Mater Dei’s C.J.Verdell as the second player of the 2017 class to verbally commit to the campus in Eugene. While a verbal counts just as much as a pinky swear, don’t expect the three star powerhouse to jump ship.

"Things tend to get old," Niu explained. "Lots of coaches calling you…but I’m glad I ended my recruiting process."

A process in which 30 FBS programs sent offers to Niu, several of them serious national championship contenders. The 6-foot-1 backer took trips to nine different campuses across the country, eventually whittling down his choices to five – the Ducks along with Washington, USC, Vanderbilt and Arizona.

It was the trip to the Northwest that sealed the deal.

"It’s really nice up there in Eugene," Niu said. "Oregon football players get treated like royalty."

That’s exactly what you expect from a high school senior-to-be – in love with Phil Knight’s toys. It’s not the only thing he’s attracted to. It’s a place for consistent winners.

"The coaches have been there for a long time," Niu said. "Many of them for 20 years."

The trend of big San Diego names to Oregon continues. The Robinson twins and Darren Carrington, Jr, once marked as the Diego Trio, uniformly committed to the school back in 2013.

They were soon joined by Silver Pigskin winner Royce Freeman of Imperial High School.

Niu never played against any of them, but he’s ready to play alongside them.

"They’re all ballers," Niu said.

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Categories: 2014 PPR Archive, 2015 PPR Features, 2015 PPR Features Part 2, Sports Features Only on KUSI