The world of recruiting has evolved for the Oregon Ducks over the past decade, and it large part, it’s gone through swings with the numerous coaching changes. While things were soaring under Chip Kelly, they took a dip in the years between the end of his tenure and the start of the Mario Cristobal era. Of course, Cristobal got things back on track, and a pair of top-10 recruiting classes in his past three years has Oregon’s roster stacked with talent.
In all, since 2010, the Ducks have had two top-10 classes, seven top-15 classes, and just two classes ranked lower than 20th in the nation, per 247Sports. While much of Oregon’s success in the recruiting world came from getting star players out of California and in the western half of the nation, things have shifted in the past five years. It started with Cristobal, and has continued under the new regime — the Ducks are now recruiting at a national level.
Is that something that can be taken to the next level under Dan Lanning and his coaching staff? Early in his tenure, we’ve seen Lanning have some great success on the trail, building up the 2022 class to a No. 16 ranking in the nation despite having very little time to work. It’s not much to go on, but should that give us a lot of confidence going forward?
That’s a question that The Athletic asked as they ramp up their 2023 recruiting coverage. Here’s what they had to say:
When Oregon had to deal with unexpectedly losing Cristobal after he had a ton of success recruiting an elite-level class in the 2021 cycle, what did the Ducks do? They went out and hired a coach who learned how to recruit under Smart at Georgia. The expectation for Oregon is that Dan Lanning is not only going to keep meeting Cristobal’s standard but maybe even exceed it.
The biggest win since Lanning took over was landing five-star offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr. out of Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach to close out the Class of 2022. That was important for two reasons — elite offensive tackles are gold in this sport, and it seemed as though Conerly was trending toward USC at the 11th hour.
Oregon’s 2023 class has six commitments, but only one — four-star cornerback Cole Martin of Chandler (Ariz.) Basha — is ranked in the top 100 nationally. In this head-to-head battle between Lanning and Riley, who do you got?
While the 2022 class ended with fireworks — the Conerly commitment, plus 4-star WR Kyler Kasper’s reclassification to 2022 — it’s clear that there are some interesting things brewing on the horizon for 2023 as well. The month of June alone could be a banner time for the Ducks, with a handful of 5-star players — Richard Young, Jayden Wayne, Kadyn Proctor, Samuel M’Pemba, David Hicks — all coming on visits to Eugene in a couple of weeks.
Lanning and his staff are getting talent to town, and they’ve shown in the past that they tend to find success from there. If the question on the national landscape is “where will Oregon stand in the nation’s rankings from year to year?” then I think Duck fans feel pretty confident that they know what the answer will be under the new coaching staff.
Somewhere near the top.
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