A’lique Terry ready to take ‘Law Firm’ to new heights in second year with Ducks

A year ago, Dan Lanning and the Oregon Ducks were in somewhat of a tough position when it came to the coaching cycle in college football. After a promising first year in Eugene, Lanning saw Adrian Klemm, one of his top assistant coaches and offensive line coach, depart for a job with the New England Patriots.

With an opportunity to make a splash hire and replace Klemm with a big name, Lanning went a different route and opted for the promising up-and-comer in A’lique Terry, a former graduate assistant in Eugene who had most recently been coaching the defensive line for the Minnesota Vikings.

It certainly wasn’t a splash hire, but it may have been one of the most impactful hires that Lanning has made in his tenure with the Ducks.

In his first year as the OL coach in Eugene, Terry produced a team that was named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line in the country. All of that was with a unit that saw four new starters to begin the season.

That production was more than enough for Lanning to be assured in his hire.

“A’lique is doing exactly what I expected,” Lanning said on Tuesday. “He’s a rising star in the profession. He’s got great relationships with our players. You look at that group and they performed really well last year.”

With the solid 2023 performance comes increased expectations, though. While the team dealt with new starters a year ago, they now enter the 2024 season with an expectation that four starters will return, and only Rimington Trophy winner Jackson Powers-Johnson needs to be replaced in the middle.

So with that experience under his belt and the knowledge that many of his top players are returning, does Terry feel more comfortable going into his second year?

“I won’t say I’m comfortable, you always strive to be uncomfortable,” Terry said on Tuesday. “I have a little bit more comfort with what’s going on, so it does help to have a year under us now, and to have many guys returning, but the ‘Law Firm’ being together this long, we know how to work together.”

If you don’t know what the ‘Law Firm’ is, it’s what Terry’s group of offensive linemen are called, birthed from the sound that coaches Terry, Leftwich, and Cavanaugh had rolling off the tongue a year ago.

The Law Firm won big in court a year ago, but now they head into their first Big Ten season needing to reach that standard once again.

“It’s a new challenge. It’s a new year,” Lanning said. “A’lique pushes himself to continue to get better with the other guys in that room and he’s done a really good job of that.”

The Ducks enter the 2024 season with expectations of competing for a Big Ten Championship and landing a spot in the newly expanded College Football Playoff. If the offensive line can continue to play at an elite level, the offense will likely be championship-worthy.

It starts up front, and the Law Firm is ready for the challenge.

“We’re always looking to be on call,” Terry said. “We have the continuity with each other. We know what to expect. We know what the standard is.”

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire