Five-star quarterback Michael Van Buren, a top-20 prospect in 2024, committed to Oregon on Saturday.
Van Buren, from St. Frances Academy (Maryland), is ranked 18th overall in the 2024 class and is the second-best-rated pocket passer in the class behind Georgia commit Dylan Raiola (No. 1 overall).
His April visit to Eugene clinched matters for him as he moved up his commitment date from early July.
"What stood out to me most would probably be just how bought-in everybody is and how together everyone is," Van Buren told ESPN. "The team is very close. Everybody treats everybody like family and the people in the building, they all have great energy and everybody there really wants people to succeed and they're going to do everything they can to make sure that happens."
He would be the highest-ranked quarterback to sign with the Ducks since ESPN began ranking players in 2006 and would be the program's highest-ranked overall recruit to commit to Oregon since linebacker Justin Flowe (No. 10 overall) in 2020.
It is a nice rebound for second-year coach Dan Lanning after highly regarded signal-caller Dante Moore (No. 2 overall) switched to UCLA late in the 2023 cycle.
Van Buren chose the Ducks over his other two finalists, Penn State and Maryland, and becomes the second ESPN 300 quarterback to commit to Oregon in as many years (Austin Novosad; No. 271 overall in 2023).
The 6-foot, 190-pound Van Buren completed 57% of his passes for 1,707 yards and 18 touchdowns during his junior season for the Panthers, guiding them to a 9-1 record. Van Buren will get the opportunity to succeed Bo Nix as the headliner of the Oregon offense, which ranked sixth in the FBS in total offense (500.5 YPG) and 10th in scoring (38.8 PPG) in 2022.
"They like to push the ball downfield and they like mobile quarterbacks," Van Buren said, "like how Bo Nix is very mobile with quarterback runs and pushing the ball down field and all the other stuff. So I feel like my abilities -- my mobile ability -- and being able to make every throw really fits that scheme."
Oregon's 2024 class sits ninth in ESPN's rankings and Van Buren joins his St. Frances teammate, cornerback Ify Obidegwu (No. 148 overall), as ESPN 300 prospects heading to the Pacific Northwest.
Its seven ESPN 300 pledges has Oregon on a good track to possibly match or surpass the 11 ESPN 300 signees secured in a 2023 class that finished eighth in ESPN's final rankings.
As the highest-ranked member currently of the Ducks' 2024 haul, Van Buren feels a responsibility to keep the momentum going.
"Most definitely. As soon as it's live -- where I'm going -- I'm ready to recruit No. 1 class," he said. "I think we got a lot of potential. I mean the guys that I've talked to, it's just a lot of top guys that's really considering Oregon.
"It's my job and the rest of the other commits' job is to make sure that happens and we get a bunch of guys to go win this national championship."