This Oregon Ducks football season has been an emotional one, to say the least. The entire fan base has been teetering on calling this the year that the Ducks return to the College Football Playoff, as they look as good (or better) than that historic 2014 team led by Heisman Trophy Winner Marcus Mariota. Bo Nix aims to repeat history as the next Heisman winner to represent the Ducks, with a much different but similar product from the offense. As the Ducks are coming off a huge win in Salt Lake City, Utah, we saw some of that supreme talent that head coach Dan Lanning has surrounded Nix with. Working in tandem with a great defense led by star transfers and senior stalwarts, now the Ducks are getting even better up front with a true edge defender in one of Arizona’s best.
Landing Elijah Rushing makes a massive difference for the future of the Ducks, as it looks like Oregon finally has their Kayvon Thibodeaux replacement. He’s twitchy, plays an opportunist, always goes for the football on a quarterback hit, and dominates offensive tackles with little to no resistance in any of his matchups all year. His ability to disrupt a game and completely shift offensive line attention should pay immediate dividends on the next level, and with Johnny Bowens III lined up alongside Matayo Uiagaleilei next year, Rushing will have superstar company. If that isn’t something to smile about as Oregon fans, I don’t know what is.
The best part? It isn’t stopping anytime soon, either.
Dan Lanning’s Influence
As Oregon approaches a top-five recruiting class, this recruiting regime has gone FAR beyond what we should be expecting of Lanning in year two, and it’s a true privilege to get to see this process unfold. There’s no question that Lanning inherited a program with momentum, but to have this success early on? Unprecedented.
Needless to say, Oregon fans can expect the likes of Rushing to continue to be the norm with in-season recruiting, and considering how the Ducks are playing at home lately, it’s obvious why players on both sides of the ball want to join what Lanning’s assembled in Eugene. Troy Franklin, Bo Nix, Brandon Dorlus, and several others all look to be playing on Sundays next season, which should lead to another huge bolstering of this Lanning recruiting surge.
Other Star Recruits Buzzing
Jordan Seaton could also be on his way to Eugene, who was a longshot just weeks ago. Now, it seems Seaton is within striking distance of being a Duck. As a superstar offensive tackle coming out of IMG Academy, his unofficial visit must have boded well for him to be so hot on the Ducks’ recruiting radar.
Today, Rushing is the 24th recruit in the 2024 recruiting class, no. 1 in Arizona, and the No. 28 player in the nation. As the Ducks look ahead to their matchup against the Cal Bears at home, you can’t help but love what we’ve seen from this recruiting staff. But anyway, enough from me Oregon fans. What do you think of Rushing’s impact on the Ducks’ recruiting? Can you see him being a cornerstone of this defense of the future? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo: Via Twitter (Jackson Proudfoot @Gokusolos241)
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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