‘I don’t judge;’ Mario Cristobal reacts to 5-star OT Kingsley Suamataia’s transfer from Ducks

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On Tuesday night, the unfortunate news came out that true freshman offensive tackle, Kingsley Suamataia, who was the highest recruit in Oregon’s 2021 class, would be entering the transfer portal and looking to leave the Ducks.

As a former 5-star recruit, Suamataia got a little bit of playing time earlier this year against Stony Brook but has been unable to crack the offensive line rotation despite numerous opportunities.

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On Wednesday, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal was asked about the decision from the true freshman, and he responded level-headedly.

“The best way to put that is that, we don’t, I don’t judge,” Cristobal said. “I really don’t, I don’t judge. You respect people and you expect to be respected back and that’s what transpires. We work really hard with everybody to develop and to have the best possible experience, development cycle, all that kind of stuff. So we don’t judge we just adjust and keep moving forward.”

With Suamataia coming to Oregon as the No. 32 recruit in the nation, it’s always tough to lose him before his college career got underway. But whether it is homesickness or frustration with being unable to crack the lineup, you have to respect a player’s decision to leave if he wants to. In our day and age, it’s not uncommon to see players utilize the transfer portal to try and find greener grasses elsewhere, though the color of the grass is often in the eye of the beholder.

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At this point, there is little that the Ducks can do other than move on with the guys they have and continue to try and get better. The depth might have taken a hit, but the players they have are still solid and versatile.

“We’re a little banged up,” said Cristobal. “We are a little bit thin. It’s not much different minus one than what we had from before. I am sure you guys can piece it together with the guys that have been playing, guys we’ve put into the two-deep. You just have to subtract one from that.”

It’s unclear where Suamataia will go from here, but you have to assume that he is going to be a highly coveted asset in the portal, with a lot of teams calling his line. In the meantime, Oregon will continue on and try to get better every day.

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