Looks like head coach Dan Lanning’s off to save the future of the Oregon Ducks football program today.
After a rough last couple of weeks, the Oregon football world has been fluttering full of rumors about superstar quarterback Dante Moore de-committing from the program. This all sparked up when offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham took the job as Arizona State’s next head coach. His relationship with Moore was a major reason that the five-star recruit chose to join the Ducks next season, and with that relationship now voided from Autzen, everything’s in flux.
Thankfully, the Ducks’ fearless leader (Lanning) is hopping on a quick trip to Michigan today to convince Moore to stay with the Ducks and take over the program. But the truth is, without Dillingham? This Oregon team’s going to look a lot different next season.
Bo Nix’s Future at Oregon
We have to assume Nix will be out of the picture in 2023. He played exceptionally well for himself at Oregon, and it certainly looks like he’s earned himself significant NFL stock. However, if he does choose to stay, I can’t see a world where the Ducks manage to keep Ty Thompson and Moore on the roster. Just look at Jay Butterfield, who decided to enter the transfer portal this Wednesday. That was without Moore in the conversation yet.
Not to mention, Robby Ashford left for Auburn a season ago for the same reason, and actually got a shot at some quality game time. Regardless of how it’s gone so far, that’s certainly what Butterfield is looking for. If Nix hangs around, Thompson could easily jump ship too.
The bottom line is: Nix will almost definitely move on this offseason, and the keys to the program will be temporarily handed to Thompson. Unfortunately, it’s likely temporary for a reason.
Can Ty Thompson Earn the Job, AND Keep It?
Isn’t it funny how much one season can change your tune about a player? Well, most of us were calling for Thompson to start this offseason. Now, he’s almost seen as a black sheep; a bad luck charm for this program’s offense.
And that’s not a shot at the kid. I love Thompson and his upside. It just seems like whenever he’s been on the field, bad things happen.
Were those mistakes all Thompson’s fault? Of course not! But mistakes don’t win games, unfortunately. Fumbles, interceptions, huge-yardage losses, penalties, the list goes on. Even just one play in the Utah game felt like some voodoo magic (and not of the donut variety!) was cast over the Ducks.
However, none of what I saw this year would hold me back from giving him a shot to start and excel with the team in 2023. Even though I think Moore could start right away, I wouldn’t mind him sitting or redshirting even behind Thompson. Prove to future recruits with Lanning, Oregon is no longer an upperclassman-transfer destination. Build from the ground up, and let these quarterback recruits earn their stripes (or feathers, rather).
DON’T Force Him to Transfer
This is the single outcome I just couldn’t stomach. When Lanning gets Moore in the building after his trip today, he plays. End of story. Sure, let him earn the job and all. Just don’t let him walk. PLEASE.
I don’t care to imagine a world where a five-star quarterback like him, the likes of which Oregon has NEVER seen before, just walks onto greener pastures after riding the bench. Especially not behind more upperclassmen transfers.
Anyway, that’s my two cents, Oregon fans. What do you think? Will Thompson earn the job and keep it? Does Moore have a chance of being a day-one starter? Will he even make it to Eugene with the buzz surrounding a de-commitment? Let us know in the Fishduck Forum with decorum!
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo Credit: SBLive Michigan, Twitter
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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