Head football coach Dan Hawkins is known for his innovative and unique style of football, efforts that are not limited to the field now that the Aggies are recruiting throughout the state of Oregon. His coaching staff's mission is clear: If you are seeking a world-class education, an opportunity to play Division I football and a chance to enjoy a healthy life balance between the two, UC Davis is the school for you.
Throughout the Aggies' first five years in the Big Sky, only two student-athletes possessed Oregon ties. On this year's roster alone, three are from the Pacific Northwest -- a total that includes two true freshmen and will undoubtedly grow throughout the upcoming seasons.
"When I visited UC Davis, I fell in love with the campus. I really liked the size of this university and how green everything was," said Portland native, and sophomore offensive lineman Riley Gallant.
"Coming from Oregon, it immediately reminded me of home."
With a campus ideally situated between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe, a short drive provides Aggie student-athletes like Gallant, Carson Crawford and freshman defensive lineman Luka Nixon (Sherwood, Ore.) the opportunity to enjoy concerts, professional sports, museums, Olympic-quality ski resorts, beaches, mountain bike trails and other outdoor amenities.
Since Sacramento International Airport located 20 minutes away from Aggie Stadium, a brief flight to Portland is the only thing that separates the trio from their families and hometown friends.
"Another Big Sky school is located near where I grew up," said Crawford, who hails from Beaverton. "This is how I knew about UC Davis, and was excited when the school contacted me."
Familiar with the football program since it began competing at the Division I level in 2012, that, combined with the school's academic programs, made committing to UC Davis an easy decision for the freshman wide receiver.
Added Crawford, "I know the quality of education I will receive throughout my time here."
Frequently named one of the best college towns in the country, the city of Davis provides a tight-knit community, a school that provides an elite academic experience and the chance to compete for an athletics program that is on the rise and capturing the nation's attention.
"When I came down for my official visit, the players welcomed me and showed me what this program, university and city are all about. Even though I received other offers, I did not take another visit because I knew UC Davis was my new home. My family was thrilled with this decision, I committed as soon as I could," said Crawford.
For Oregon's brightest and talented student-athletes, there is a university that is close to home, yet far enough away to develop an individual identity. A school that offers an unparalleled academic and athletic opportunity where student-athletes will enjoy an undergraduate experience like no other.
And now, for the first time in UC Davis football's history, that experience is about to visit various high schools throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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at Sacramento State (2 p.m.)