football

Kuemper picks Pac-10 program

The pieces came together perfectly for Austin Kuemper since he liked Oregon, the Ducks liked him and so the Portland (Ore.) Westview center didn't consider it a difficult decision at all to make a commitment.
"He liked the university anyway with the new arena, it's such a beautiful school and he's an Oregon-type kid, the state of Oregon," Westview coach Pat Coons said. "He would have but didn't necessarily want to take off to be somewhere else. He likes being fairly close to home."
Kuemper, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound prospect, has taken multiple unofficial visits to Oregon in the past and is quite familiar with the program. Getting a chance to be with his Westview team at summer camp in recent months helped Kuemper with the decision-making process. An official visit is expected to happen sometime in October.
"We went down to team camp at Oregon and got to meet Dana Altman and the staff and he felt very comfortable with them," Coons said. "He's excited about a new coach, a new program, a new arena. The opportunity is great for him he feels. That got him really excited.
"He had a good summer and was getting really nice interest from people who had been tracking him for a long time based on his summer work and they like his athleticism, his ability to face and shoot but when it came down to it Oregon was the place he wanted to be in the first place and he liked them and they liked him and so he made it happen."
Getting to know Altman, Oregon's first-year coach, was an important factor. Kuemper's familiarity with the Ducks' program, their new arena and his sense that he didn't want to be too far away from home played favorably in Oregon's favor, too.
"All the way from going down there for team camp, you're there staying overnight and playing games and they were there the whole time," Coons said.
"Coach Altman is very personable and a very down-to-earth person. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with this whole program. He's looking for quality people who are going to come in and work hard and aren't prima donnas and that meant a lot to Austin that he could go in and earn his playing time and the opportunity to start with a new program is really exciting to him."
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