The Oregon Ducks, a team that made its mark in college football despite frequent changes in coaching and conference realignment, are facing significant scrutiny for the coming season. Under Dan Lanning’s debut as head coach last year, the Ducks concluded an impressive 10-3 season with a win at the Holiday Bowl. However, an anonymous opposing coach told Athlon that many will be observing Oregon to see if they can remain successful or if their defense could hinder their progress.
The same coach wondered if Lanning would be able to expand on his initial success or was it simply a result of the team he inherited? One of the challenges is that Lanning, as a defensive coach, will have to find a replacement for outgoing offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, who’s leaving for Arizona State.
The imminent departure of USC and UCLA, significant programs in the Pac-12, also raises questions about the potential impact on Oregon. Could the change dilute the overall brand of the conference, subsequently affecting Oregon?
One key strategy for the Oregon Ducks is to establish a robust national recruit base to mitigate potential losses. According to On3’s JD PicKell, this is exactly what the team has been able to achieve under Lanning. This strategy allows the team to pull top talent from regions like Maryland and Oklahoma, even when high school football talent in Oregon itself is less dense.
Part of their success in recruiting can be attributed to coach Dan Lanning, who previously worked with Kirby Smart on his staff. Lanning’s proactive approach in building a formidable team via aggressive recruitment has, so far, paid off, giving Oregon a better chance of maintaining its upward trajectory.