Saturday’s 62-20 loss to Utah couldn’t have gone much worse for the University of Oregon on the field, but according to ESPN four-star linebacker Michael Divinity, the contest may not have hurt the Ducks’ future.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker, out of John Ehret High School (Marrero, Louisiana), is rated the No. 48 player in the country by ESPN and has offers from many of the nation’s top programs, but still considers Oregon a contender after its lopsided loss.

In fact, the visit seemed to help the Ducks’ chances.

“I loved it – the atmosphere, the players, the coaching staff, the facilities and academic program,” he said.

While frustrated Oregon fans filed out of Autzen Stadium in droves prior to the start of the third quarter, Divinity said he saw an opportunity in Eugene.

“I look at this way – depth chart-wise and your need on that team,” he explained. “I look at it like they have a lot of seniors at linebacker and that gives me a chance to start as a true freshman and make an impact.”

Divinity took the visit with his cousin, De’Jon Harris, a Rivals three-star linebacker who is currently committed to Arkansas.

Oregon has offered both players, which should improve the Ducks’ chances of landing both players.

“It helped spending time with him and talking to him,” Divinity said. “We’re cousins, so that would be great for us to go to college together. They want both of us to come.”

While the cousins aren’t a package deal, their tight-knit relationship has pushed both to consider attending the same university for the next four-to-five years. Given the fact that many of Divinity’s finalists have yet to offer Harris, that could be good news for Oregon as signing day draws closer.

“We just want to stay close,” Divinity said. “We always talk about playing on the same team. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We spend a lot of time together, sleep over at each other’s houses and watching football, and we talk about going to school together.”

Divinity has already taken trips to Texas A&M and Florida State, but still has an official visit to LSU on the docket and a blank weekend on his calendar that needs to be filled.

The competition for his services will be fierce the rest of the way, and while Oregon’s college football playoff dreams were dashed Saturday, its chances of luring Divinity to Eugene remain intact.

— Andrew Nemec

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