Speed has become a priority for Oregon, displayed in recent recruiting signees and targets
It was the Oregon Ducks that brought the speed game to mainstream college football over a decade ago, so it’s a bit strange to see them having to refocus their efforts on that facet.
With the hiring of Dan Lanning, the Ducks have obviously focused on defense and defensive recruiting, bringing more of an SEC mentality to the pacific northwest. That means big lines on both sides of the ball and very skilled players on the outside.
What might be a bit underrated in the SEC brand of play is the speed factor. Those in the skilled positions are not only big, but they have world-class speed, something the Ducks are looking to add as much as possible.
Having a world-class track facility such as the new Hayward Field has to help also. If nothing else, it’s helped in securing two commitments and another recruiting target for the Ducks.
First is cornerback Rodrick Pleasant out of Gardena, Calif. At 5-11 and 180 pounds, Pleasant was ranked as a Top 10 corner from California and a Top 10 player overall from that state. Also a renowned sprinter, Pleasant just broke the state’s high school mark for the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.14 seconds.
Check out Pleasant practically running away from the competition.
When 4-star Oregon commit Rodrick Pleasant ran the fastest wind legal 100 meters in California state history. 10.14. SHEESH! 💨 @RodrickP16 pic.twitter.com/DgZH3iBcFq
— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) May 4, 2023
For reference, that time would have landed Pleasant in 5th place at the 2022 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
One thing that was noticeable in the spring game is that Oregon’s new offensive coordinator Will Stein likes to roll out the quarterback. A speedy quarterback that rolls out and possibly gives himself time to either throw or tuck and run can be a huge benefit. Recruiting and getting a commitment from a single caller such as Luke Moga fits into those plans perfectly.
The Phoenix, Ariz. native just broke that state’s prep record in the 100-meter dash. Duck track coach Jerry Schumacher has to be jumping up and down with these two.
School record holder in the 100m dash. 10.70🥇 @coachtawnie @SlopeFootball Shoutout @deven_broady photo finish with a 10.71 pic.twitter.com/BsPpZxv3KV
— Luke Moga (@LukeMogaQB) April 22, 2023
The final speed demon that Oregon is targeting is 4-star WR Gatlin Bair out of Burley, Idaho. Bair is a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder who is being recruited by Boise State, Michigan, TCU and Nebraska as well as the Ducks.
Bair just had a good showing at the Texas Relays. In a preliminary race, Bair had a 100m time of 10.13 seconds, the second-best time ever in the state. He’s the type of receiver that will be fun to watch in the open field once Bair plays on the college level. Oregon hopes it will be at Autzen Stadium.
Under Chip Kelly, the Ducks became known for speed, with guys like LaMichael James and DeAnthony Thomas bringing the lightning to Oregon’s thunder.
It appears that Dan Lanning is looking to do the same.
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