Son of former Oregon star commits to Ducks: ‘The best option for me’
The Oregon Ducks have landed a commitment from 2025 quarterback Akili Smith Jr., the son of former Oregon star Akili Smith, who was selected with the third overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft.
Smith Jr. is out of San Diego and is the fifth-ranked quarterback in the 247 Sports 2025 class.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Oregon,” Smith Jr. said, according to 247 Sports. “Ever since I was young, that’s all my dad had me wearing, Oregon gear and watching Oregon football.
“Saying all that, it was still a business decision for me, and my dad really didn’t push me to pick Oregon. He wanted this to be my decision, and I looked at a few other schools really hard. When I evaluated everyone equally, Oregon was the best option for me.”
Smith Jr.’s father was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 1998, leading the Ducks to an 8-4 record before being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Smith Jr. is the fourth commitment in the 2025 class for second-year head coach Dan Lanning.
Lanning, who led Oregon to a 10-3 record in 2022, found himself in the news Monday due to his comments on the University of Colorado’s move to the Big 12.
The Buffaloes announced last week that the 2023-24 season will be Colorado’s last in the Pac-12 conference. The Buffaloes are heading back to the Big 12 for the 2024-25 academic year.
Lanning took a parting shot at the Buffs as they prepare for their final season in the Pac-12.
“Not a big reaction,” Lanning said Monday. “I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference, and I don’t remember. Do you remember them winning anything? I don’t remember them winning anything.”
The Ducks open the 2023 season against Portland State Sept. 2.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report
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