This past Friday, you saw 2023’s superstar QB Dante Moore commit to Oregon. While I’m ecstatic about the pickup for Our Beloved Ducks, I have some reservations about what our recruiting has said about our team recently. With recruits like these, why aren’t we winning every game against PAC-12 opponents?
Now, of course, this is a huge can of worms that has a ton of different variables. We can get into all of those another time, I just want to single one factor out.
Five years ago, I could only dream of getting a five-star quarterback at Oregon. Now, not only do we have TWO four-star quarterbacks in Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield waiting in the wings, we now have an incoming five-star commit as well. However, the fact that Moore may not play for a year or two even after he presumably redshirts is MIND-BOGGLING to me.
Oregon as a new power in the west is finally getting significant enough buzz year-in and year-out to get top recruits all over the country. We’ve seen the likes of Justin Herbert, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Penei Sewell now all advance to the NFL as top-10 draft picks. Our recruiting is working. However, the results we should expect with these players are not there yet.
What does this mean? We can put it all on the coaching changes, the offensive/defensive systems, quarterback play, or a myriad of other factors. I believe one of the major shifts in mentality we need to implement is to avoid the transfer portal(particularly, for transferring seniors). I understand we need to craft the best team possible, but is getting a band aid for a position need really the way to do it?
I believe with the staff the Ducks have assembled under Dan Lanning and the roster he inherits, there’s no reason we shouldn’t just build from the ground up. We have the recruiting power now. It’s on us to let the players we invest time and commitment in do the same for us.
I understand that every player has to earn the job to play any position in football, but we’re never going to see what they are if seniors transfer to fill the role over and over again. Veteran transfers should win the job purely based on experience, which ends up pushing out players that we never get to see to an increasingly popular transfer portal.
Overall, playing it safe and taking a mildly better transfer-starter instead of developing your players may keep coaches’ jobs safe, but it doesn’t get us to the College Football Playoff.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: UO Athletic Department
(Also: absolutely terrible news about Spencer Webb, prayers out to the family. For those who can, send love and support to the family and friends of Webb.)
Alex Heining is a third-year student at the University of Oregon. He’s working towards a bachelor of arts degree as an English major and media studies minor in journalism. Growing up in the Los Angeles area of southern California, Alex ended up a Duck through family ties, a quality football program, and the beautiful green of Lane County. Currently finishing his first science fiction novel, he wants to end up in the sports world of journalism on the west coast. Particularly, covering high school football, recruiting commits, and all things Ducks.
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