This Wednesday is the first day of the early signing period where we will see most of the elite college prospects sign their letters of intent. Coach Dan Lanning has the Ducks set up to have a successful recruiting class based on the verbal commitments he already holds. Can Lanning hold those commits, and can he land or flip some elite players to add to his class?
Let’s look at some of the players we should be watching to see if Lanning can add them to his Oregon Ducks 2023 class. But first let’s address the elephant in the room. Can another school flip five-star Oregon commit Dante Moore?
Dante Moore is the headliner of the Ducks class and would be the highest ranked quarterback Oregon has ever signed. With offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham leaving to take the ASU job, the feeling has been Moore isn’t a lock. Lanning and new Oregon offensive coordinator Will Stein have been out visiting with Moore for the last two weeks to shore up his commitment. Last weekend Moore took an official visit to UCLA and now many recruiting analysts see Moore trending to UCLA.
Prediction – Dante Moore will be a UCLA Bruin. With Bo Nix announcing he will return for the 2023 season Moore will look to compete for the starting job next year at UCLA. He will face competition from Kent State transfer Collin Schlee and Ethan Garbers a four-star recruit who was the No. 4 pro style QB in the 2020 class.
If the Oregon brain trust silently feels that Moore will flip – they could already have started to shop his NIL money elsewhere. Kayden Proctor and David Hicks are two five-star linemen who are now prime candidates to land a hefty NIL deal with Oregon!
Kayden Proctor, an Iowa native is a consensus five-star offensive tackle who is committed to his home state Iowa Hawkeyes. Proctor took an early November visit to Eugene, and since there have been predictions of Proctor choosing Oregon. This weekend he took an unofficial visit to Alabama, and it certainly seems Proctors commitment is still in play.
Prediction – Kayden Proctor will be a Duck. Oregon’s freed up NIL money with the Moore flip will bring an elite bookend tackle to pair with Josh Conerly Jr.
David Hicks is another consensus five-star defensive linemen who is committed to his home state Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies had a disappointing season and have seen quite a few players jump into the transfer portal. They have also seen five players decommit including the No. 1 linebacker Anthony Hill and four-star defensive lineman Johnny Bowens who now is an Oregon commit.
Prediction – David Hicks will be a Duck. Hicks took another unofficial visit to Eugene in the last two weeks – where there is smoke there is fire. Lanning has the currency of the National Championship ring he wears from Georgia and Hicks has been recruited by Georgia when Lanning was there. Hicks knows in coming to Oregon he is the center piece Lanning will build his defensive line around, and he will be prepared to be a high first round draft pick.
Matayo Uiagalelei is a consensus five-star edge pass-rusher out of St. John Bosco in southern California. Uiagalelei has narrowed his schools down to a final three of Oregon, USC and Ohio State. The recruiting pundits have this a close three-way race led by OSU, with USC close and Oregon not out of the running. Uiagalelei has visited USC and Oregon multiple times, so he knows his west coast options well.
Could the Dante Moore flip free up more NIL money for Uiagalelei? Could he decide in the eleventh hour that having a defensive head coach be his best development path? Uiagalelei can place trust in Lanning to develop him and the opportunity for significant first year playing time could be key!
Peyton Bowen is a five-star defensive back committed to Notre Dame, but a rumored decommit. The Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma Sooners are pushing for him hard. Speaking of rumors, the Sooners and Ducks are going back in forth in a NIL bidding war for Bowen. Last weekend Bowen declined to visit Eugene and predictions are that he will be a Sooner. Barring a late Sonner’s waffle over NIL money or a higher Oregon NIL bid, Bowen will be a Sooner.
Jayden Limar is a four-star running back out of Lake Stevens, Washington, and another Notre Dame commit. The consensus prediction is he will flip and sign with Oregon.
Solomon Davis, a high three-star athlete out of Covina, California is a recent Arizona decommit. Predictions are trending that he will sign with Oregon.
Ashton Porter, a four-star defensive lineman from Texas is making Eugene visit this weekend and predictions are trending he will be a Duck.
Jamari Johnson is a Louisville commit with a buzz around him as a possible flip after the recent coaching change. The four-star tight end visited Eugene back in October, and Oregon now has momentum trending to flip him and keep the Englewood, California prospect on the west coast.
Malachi Coleman is a very highly rated four-star athlete who was committed to his home state Nebraska Cornhuskers. After Matt Rhule was hired as the new head coach, he opened his recruitment this month. Oregon was a school who was on him in his initial recruiting period. Coleman cancelled a final recruiting weekend visit to Michigan and is instead visiting Colorado and head coach Deion Sanders.
This could be an under the radar pickup if the Ducks see a major decommit or lose out in a NIL bidding war with a player like Bowen. The Ducks could find themselves with some late NIL money to spend and swoop in for a player like Coleman.
Oregon fans should buckle up for a wild NIL influenced signing day of the likes we have never seen. Oregon has been one to conserve its NIL bullets, as the Ducks haven’t engaged in throwing out NIL numbers to recruits unless they come to Eugene for a visit. This has insulated the Ducks from being used as leverage for NIL by recruits against another team, and driving the price up. It’s also allowed the Ducks to get a read on how serious a player is in coming to Eugene before talking NIL.
It also appears that the Ducks are a serious NIL player, it could be the Ducks have sat on some NIL money just to be the highest bidder right at the wire. Oregon currently has 24 commits in the class and seems poised to add up to possibly three to five late highly ranked additions to the class. It appears we could see some of the lower ranked three-stars getting their scholarship offers pulled.
Let’s discuss it all the forum-with-decorum!
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I was born a Cali kid and my uncle is a USC Alum. Remember going to an SC game when I was like 5 with him. I moved to Oregon in 77 when I was 6 and became a Duck fan long ago. I remember Reggie Ogburn OB days, so it was before the Ducks got good. I’ve been a sports nut since I was a kid.
I went to Tigard High about the same time as linebacker Jeremy Asher did, and I watched him team with Rich Ruhl on the inside of the Gang Green defense.
Lots of Ducks memories, Danny O’Neil’s passing in 1st Rose Bowl, Kenny Wheaton, Joey’s comebacks early in his career and how jacked up he got!
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