First-year University of Central Florida Scott Frost was at Oregon as an assistant for a total of seven seasons prior to heading south. He first started off as the wide receivers coach from 2009-2012 before being promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following the departure of Chip Kelly to the NFL, which of course sparked the promotion of then offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to head coach in Eugene.
During those seven seasons with the Ducks, Frost recruited a number of players that went on to outstanding careers including Royce Freeman, Devon Allen, and Malik Lovette.
But, despite the hundreds and hundreds of cutting edge uniform combinations and variety of helmets and innovative Nike gear, arguably the best facilities in the country, and the Ducks high powered offense year after year, recruiting players to Eugene wasn’t as easy as it may seem to coaches on the outside looking in.
Frost explained those challenges to Daniel Uthman in a recent USA Today Q&A session.
“Every kid in the country wanted to come to Oregon. They saw how we played, they saw the facilities, they saw the uniforms, the winning. Everybody was interested in Oregon. I’m telling recruits down here [at UCF] they don’t have to go 3,000 miles away to get that anymore.”
“It’s hard in those places because we’re just not in close proximity, Oregon wasn’t and isn’t in close proximity to the fertile recruiting ground. At the end of the day, recruits have to decide to leave southern California, or Georgia, or Florida, or Texas, where there’s some other pretty good schools, and go all the way to Eugene.”
The situation at UCF is much different, and Frost also touched on some of the advantages of being in a fertile recruiting territory like Florida.
“It’s great being in a place where those kids that want to stay close can stay here, not to mention it’s a lot easier to get kids to visit our campus unofficially, there’s a lot more kids here to choose from.”
“One of the things that drew me to the job is I knew I could run a version of our offense that was practically identical to Oregon’s because we can recruit that type of player here. I don’t think you could run Oregon’s offense at Wisconsin; I don’t know if you would get enough guys that can run well enough to do it. In Orlando, Florida, there’s fast guys in high schools in every direction in close proximity that are already running systems in high school that are similar to this and should want to play in it.”