It’s been a busy offseason for the Oregon Ducks by any stretch of the imagination. There have been coordinator changes, numerous recruiting flips, veteran passers returning, and transfer portal craziness that has allowed Dan Lanning to reshape the roster ahead of his second season in Eugene.
And that’s only to mention about half of what took place over the past two months in Eugene.
While it would be too time-consuming to list everything that has taken place between now and the start of the offseason on November 26, 2022, we wanted to take a second and go over some of the most important things that have taken place in Eugene.
In order to try and sift through the most important occurrences, I brought On3’s Jarrid Denney and 247Sports’ Jared Mack on the Sco-ing Long Podcast to draft the offseason. With five picks each, we chose our favorite storylines, most entertaining events, or most important developments going forward.
Check out the full episode here:
Round 1 — Pick 1 (Zac)
Context: The Ducks signed their second 5-star of the 2023 class with Matayo Uiagalelei choosing Oregon over both Ohio State and USC. The buzz started the night before signing day when predictions for Uiagalelei to choose the Ducks started to flood in, which seemed like a longshot for the majority of his recruitment.
Round 1 — Pick 2 (Jared)
Pick: Peyton Bowen Saga
Context: Where do you start when it comes to the Peyton Bowen saga? He shocked everyone by flipping to Oregon from Notre Dame and then kept everyone waiting on pins and needles while his paperwork was supposedly being sent to Eugene. In the end, Bowen ended up flipping to Oklahoma the very next day.
Round 1 — Pick 3 (Jarrid)
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Pick: Bo Nix Announcing Return
Context: While many expected Nix to enter the NFL Draft, he turned the tides of Oregon’s 2023 season by announcing that he would return for another season in Eugene. Nix now figures to be among the Heisman favorites going into his final year of college ball.
Round 2 — Pick 1 (Jarrid)
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Context: December 16 was a weird day. It was the first time we’d talked to players since the Oregon State game 20 days earlier, and we were all waiting for Bo Nix to make his announcement. He danced around the question in a bizarre way, and left us all wondering what would take place next.
Round 2 — Pick 2 (Jared)
Context: The Ducks were dealt a major blow with the flip of 5-star QB Dante Moore, but Oregon was able to quickly pivot and convince 4-star Baylor QB Austin Novosad to flip to the Ducks on signing day, marking the first major win of Will Stein’s career at Oregon.
Round 2 — Pick 3 (Zac)
(AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
Pick: Dan Lanning Cigar Video
Context: After one of the most eventful signing days in Oregon history, Dan Lanning put a perfect cap on the night by lighting up a stogie and kicking back. His video made waves on the internet and instantly boosted his love from the Ducks’ fanbase.
Round 3 — Pick 1 (Zac)
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY
Context: While the early signing period was eventful, Dan Lanning and Co. showed that they may not be done, booking an official visit with 5-star ATH Nyckoles Harbor, one of the most enthralling athletes left on the board. Harbor will be in Eugene for his visit this coming weekend.
Round 3 — Pick 2 (Jared)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Pick: P Luke Dunne Commitment
Context: Does anyone know anything about Luke Dunne? Care to share if you do? When this Australian punter committed to the Ducks, it was hard for any reporter to find much information about him online, which makes it so his first spring season with the Ducks will be filled with endless get-to-know-you questions from media members.
Round 3 — Pick 3 (Jarrid)
Pick: Will Stein Hire
Context: With Kenny Dillingham leaving to take the Arizona State HC job, Dan Lanning turned around and hired another rising star at the position, with UTSA’s Will Stein coming to Eugene. He has a similar offensive scheme as Dillingham, which fans love to hear, and he helped orchestrate one of the biggest recruiting wins of the offseason with the Austin Novosad flip from Baylor.
Round 4 — Pick 1 (Jarrid)
Michael Chow-Arizona Republic
Context: Just minutes after the Oregon State game came to a close, the news broke that Dillingham was leaving to take the head coaching job at Arizona State. It was a major sliding-doors moment for the Ducks because it led to Dante Moore’s decommitment. However, it led the way to Will Stein coming to Eugene, which could be a major positive in the end.
Round 4 — Pick 2 (Jared)
Pick: First Wave of Transfers
Context: Quickly after the season ended, the first wave of transfer came, with Dont’e Thornton, Byron Cardwell, and Jay Butterfield all announcing their departure. There seemed to be a lot of worry from the fanbase, but the Ducks have improved the overall talent of the roster multiple times over in the past several weeks.
Round 4 — Pick 3 (Zac)
Context: QB Ty Thompson was probably someone that everyone expected to enter the transfer portal once the season came to an end, but he is still on the roster as we speak. It appears that he is content sticking it out for another year behind Bo Nix and then potentially taking over as the starter in 2024, which feels like a major win for Oregon.
Round 5 — Pick 1 (Zac)
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Pick: Jordan Burch Commitment
Context: One of Oregon’s biggest needs coming into the offseason was on the defensive line, where pass rusher was at a premium. Lanning went out and got a commitment from South Carolina transfer Jordan Burch, a former 5-star commit who will be an instant-impact player for the Ducks in 2023.
Round 5 — Pick 2 (Jared)
(Photo Courtesy of Zachary Neel | USA TODAY Sports)
Context: The Ducks are currently way over the scholarship limit on the roster, but that won’t become an issue until after spring football as we get into fall camp. Regardless, fans have been worried about the scholarship numbers for weeks, freaking out about nothing.
Round 5 — Pick 3 (Jarrid)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Context: Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez opted into the 2023 NFL Draft, where he has seen his star shine brightly over the last month. Gonzalez has risen in a number of mock drafts as of late and has been predicted to go as high as No. 6 in April’s draft.
Draft Recap: Zachary Neel
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1: Matayo Uigalelei Commitment
Round 2: Dan Lanning Cigar Video
Round 3: Nyckoles Harbor Recruiting Buzz
Round 4: Ty Thompson Staying in Eugene
Round 5: Jordan Burch Commitment
Draft Recap: Jared Mack
Round 1: Peyton Bowen Saga
Round 2: Dante Moore to Austin Novosad Pivot
Round 3: Luke Dunne Signing
Round 4: First Wave of Transfers
Round 5: Scholarship Math
Draft Recap: Jarrid Denney
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1: Bo Nix Return
Round 2: Bo Nix December 16 Press Conference
Round 3: Will Stein Hire
Round 4: Kenny Dillingham Leaving
Round 5: Christian Gonzalez NFL Draft Hype