Dan Lanning Has West Coasters Shook!

Ryan Robertson Editorials

Dan Lanning, you absolute king.

You must have noticed that Oregon is absolutely dominating on the recruiting trail right now. It is disgusting. Sad to see for the other West coast schools if we are being honest. But as an Oregon fan it is delicious.

Lanning has never been a slouch as a recruiter. As a matter of fact, he has been the best recruiter in school history to this point. Filling the roster up with the caliber of player we once dreamed of having. They’re poised for a national championship run this year, next year, and every year that Lanning is the coach from this point forward.

Do you know how you have made it to the top as a school?

USC has been falling behind in the recruiting game. (Photo by Craig Strobeck)

It happens suddenly, violently, and with no notice. It is happening to Oregon right now.

You have made it once schools that were once better than you suddenly start claiming you can only achieve success because of cheating.

And Lanning has the rest of the Western schools in absolute tears about (of all things) paying players. In the current era, Oregon reportedly has a top 10 NIL program, but for certain schools to complain about Oregon paying players is absolutely laughable, and is a testament to their fear and confusion.

Today, Washington got a commitment from a four-star linebacker. Ask yourself: do you think that they got that player simply for offering money, or because they have had a strong last few years and a good recruiter at head coach? If you think it is the former, you are kidding yourself.


Oregon has been flying up the rankings the last week. (Photo from 247sports.com)

Any school abstaining from the NIL game is going to fall hopelessly behind. Oregon is no exception, and they are focusing on building a sustainable brand that can win it all in Eugene. They’ve invested so much money into building top-of-the-line facilities, they’ve increased the destinations to fly to/from Eugene, they’ve improved the gameday experience at Autzen, and they continue to innovate on the uniform front.

Oregon is a fantastic program, poised to win it all in the near-term future as long as the coaching and development match the talent acquisition. NIL will make or a break a program, and Lanning has elected to let it make his work, instead of being a school like Michigan State and letting allegedly it kill theirs.

In the meantime, let the other schools out West whine that Oregon would be nothing without Nike, as if that were an important or valid criticism. If you have been on social media recently, you’ve no doubt seen USC fans, of all people, saying those exact words. Nike is Oregon, Oregon is Nike. The same way that USC is LA. What would BYU be without the Mormon Church? They are all inseparable.

Of course Oregon alum, Phil Knight, has used his influence to help build the brand of his favorite school. (Photo by Irina Filenko)

Trying to separate a school from their best asset is like trying to say that an Aerosmith song wouldn’t be good without Steven Tyler. That sentence makes no sense, and the criticism that a school wouldn’t be good if the largest sports brand in history wasn’t conceived by an alumni is stupid. People who make that comment don’t understand what they are talking about.

The fact of the matter is: Lanning is an elite recruiter. Time will tell if he is capable of meshing that talent into a win-it-all unit, or if it will all be squandered.

The thing is, if you aren’t recruiting at the level he is recruiting at, you can keep being scared. Keep calling it a fluke. Keep blaming it on a flashy brand, or on money, or on kids just not getting how great it would be to play for Texas. Go ahead, fall further behind.

In the meantime, Lanning will continue to go off. He landed four elite recruits over the weekend, and all you can find online is “rival teams” calling it fraudulent because their school can’t or won’t pony up the resources necessary to win at the highest level in the modern era.

If it was 2003 and we were buying houses for the families of our recruits illegally (though not immorally), I would say to get Lanning out of the sport. But it isn’t 2003. Reggie Bush would be free to get his money today without fear of repercussions, as he should have been. Complaining at this point just makes you look irrelevant.

Get with the times, or get left behind.

Ryan Robertson
Huachuca City, Arizona
Top Photo by: Joe Jackson Jr.

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