Our Oregon Ducks football program just keeps on getting better and better with head coach Dan Lanning at the helm. 2023’s recruiting cycle is finishing up nicely with some late transfers and superstar pickups for the Ducks, and now, Lanning’s staff has wasted zero time gearing up for the 2024 class. Mr. FishDuck took some time away from his fun at wageringadvisors.ca. to ponder linebackers with me.
Brayden Platt is a 4-Star linebacker (and running back) coming out of Yelm, Washington in 2024. After some huge flashes this year, he’s emerging as one of the top recruits in the state. He’s visiting Eugene this weekend for a second time to hopefully take the plunge on joining the Ducks’ program for the next step in his career.
Beyond being a 4-Star player, though, Platt is more than just another top recruit for Lanning to try to swoon into joining the flock. His future role on this team and players like him actually carry some weight over how this program progresses.
Why Is Platt’s Visit Vital to the Program?
At a position of need, our Ducks have a major void at inside linebacker right now. Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell will not be on the Oregon roster next season, and even when they were playing for the Ducks, this was one of the weakest position groups on the team.
Overall, the linebacking group as a whole needs a revamp fast. The Ducks were able to land Arizona State’s Connor Soelle who should be a contributor, and they have a handful of solid recruits already on the team. Someone else will definitely need to step up for seasons ahead, though.
Jeffrey Bassa or Devon Jackson might be those players. Regardless of how they progress, though, Platt would be a huge grab for the program. He’s in rival territory, is a two-way player, and has outstanding athleticism for the position. The Huskies had a great season and to snatch one of the best in-state defensive players would sting.
As a player, Platt reminds me a bit of Joe Walker from a decade ago with a bit more speed and raw instincts. Shoot, we might even see him jump in at running back here and there, which is ironic, considering who’s joining him on his unofficial visit.
Who Will Join Platt on His Visit?
While it’s an unofficial visit, Jason Brown Jr. will join Platt this weekend in Eugene. Another top talent at the running back position makes a ton of sense for how morally crushing Oregon’s rushing attack was this year. Another top-30 player in the country, Brown is ranked as the No. 2 running back in 2024.
The backfield is crowded now and will need some reinforcements down the line, so it’s always nice to have some top talent in the wings ready to take over at a moment’s notice. Bucky Irving had a stellar season getting the bulk of the carries in a loaded backfield, and we can expect to see a ton of him in 2023. His role though will of course be passed down quickly, as running back always seems to be a position of need (even with a stable of superstars). Brown should be an excellent addition.
On top of his elite ranking, Brown is also from the state of Washington. Another potential snag from the Huskies and Cougars.
West Coast Recruiting Dominance Here to Stay?
As we all know, UCLA and USC are heading to the Big Ten soon. Lincoln Riley poses a pretty significant threat down south, but Oregon’s been crushing recruiting since Lanning arrived. There’s zero indication of slowing down anytime soon, we just have to consider the shift that’s going to happen with an impending move of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten that could be cataclysmic for the PAC-12.
However, I think we can expect good things from Lanning. Great coaches adjust to adversity and put their team in a position to be successful regardless of the circumstances. I see Lanning as becoming one of those coaches, and landing players like Platt and Brown regularly. Even in the case they escape to the SEC or another top program, it seems like we have the perfect staff in place to regularly be competing for College Football Playoff contention, and recruit at a high level.
What do you think of these new recruits, Oregon fans? Will Lanning land them both? Which recruits are you most excited about in next season’s recruiting class? How do you think Lanning will shape this roster in the coming months to be a CFP contender? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: JTHart23 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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