Signing day was a HUGE success for Dan Lanning and Oregon Ducks football.
As our own Charles Fischer chatted about just yesterday, this easily could be one of the best first-year head coach’s recruiting classes ever with how many big swings Lanning took in the past few weeks. Well, those swings have certainly paid off.
The gut punch of Dante Moore flipping this week to UCLA could easily have been the highlight (or lowlight) of this season’s recruiting. However, Lanning did what the great ones do: respond to adversity. The Ducks have now stabled two more 5-star recruits, and many other new prospects are set to join the roster as well.
First off, this won’t be a comprehensive list. Just some of the most superlative players you’ll see on the roster in the next 12 months. Here are some of the greatest hits off of Lanning’s first record with the Oregon Ducks football recruiting studio.
Best Overall: Matayo Uiagalelei, DE, 5-Star
Lanning’s crew knocked it out of the park with this signing. Oregon’s biggest need was pressure from the defensive line, and Uiagalelei creates a real solution to that need.
Overall, I could almost see him being a day-one starter. If Kayvon Thibodeaux was the last blue-chip edge rusher to come through Oregon, Uiagalelei might be the next.
Biggest Miss: Peyton Bowen, DB, 5-Star
This wouldn’t have been a miss just 24 hours ago. Unfortunately, Bowen’s slipped away from Oregon back to Oklahoma. We won’t dwell on it, but man… This would have been huge for Oregon to come through with.
Highest Ceiling: Jurrion Dickey, WR, 5-star
In my opinion, Dickey is the prototype. A young Julio Jones or AJ Brown, almost. Big-bodied, agile, and can score on any given play. If Oregon did one thing well this year, it’s establishing the fact that this team can throw it down the field well even when they dominate in rushing.
The thing is, for some players? You just have no idea what their ceiling is. Dickey is one of those guys. Seeing him continue to grow at Oregon is going to be fascinating, and luckily, he’s going to have great company.
Troy Franklin set the tone for what this passing game is capable of, and Dickey will be a great mentee for him to grow with. I’d love to see these two dominate the PAC-12 together with a run-heavy, deep-threat opportunity set of roles for them to fill. Huge pickup for the Ducks.
Biggest Flip: Austin Novosad, QB, 4-star
NOBODY saw this one coming. I mean, what a steal. Several teams have been courting Novosad for months, and now he’s coming to Eugene? Shocking, to say the least.
Novosad is an outstanding prospect and could easily earn the job in 2024, or even come into play for the 2023 season.
Now, we’re back to having Oregon’s quarterback room crowding up. Again. While he may not make an impact today, I see this as the biggest flip because of all the outside factors circling quarterbacks in Autzen. Thankfully, Lanning’s staff didn’t panic after Moore headed to UCLA, and now Oregon has a quality alternative.
Biggest Surprise: Daylen Austin, DB, 4-star
Can’t help but love this kid. Austin has the speed that Oregon’s had for the last decade, Super tough, true boundary cornerback with a ton of upside. While Oregon’s been pretty outstanding in the cornerback department, Lanning made a Christian Gonzalez being touted as a top draft pick in the upcoming offseason could also be paying huge dividends.
But that’s just me. What do you think? If you had some superlatives to hand out, who are your big winners of Lanning’s first signing day? Who’s in line to contribute first in a big way? Let us know your thoughts on the FishDuck Forum!
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Craig Strobeck
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
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