Signing Day Surprises
Entering the Early Signing Period it seemed like Oregon was set for a solid class but seemed to be losing momentum in a lot of their battles and had recently lost their prized 5-Star QB Commit in Dante Moore. Now we’re talking about Oregon as one of the biggest winners over this period even after losing Moore and the ever wild Peyton Bowen saga.
Oregon was able to secure commitments or flips to sign the following players with a decision from 5-Star David Hicks looming;
- 5-Star WR Jurrion Dickey – Dickey was thought to potentially be wavering by some but I never saw this one as in question.
- 5-Star EDGE Matayo Uiagalelei – Ohio State was thought to be the leader for some time due to their NFL pedigree and USC had the proximity to home factor. Oregon was the slight mix of both and won out.
- 4-Star DB Daylen Austin – Austin was committed to LSU since May but Oregon had been pushing to flip him ever since having him on campus.
- 4-Star QB Austin Novosad – After losing Dante Moore as we mentioned it seemed to be horrible timing and that it would be tough to rebound this close to the signing period but they were able to do what Ohio State wasn’t and flip the Baylor commit thanks to their new OC Will Stein.
- 4-Star RB Jayden Limar – This one had been in the works and a pretty much-foregone conclusion heading into signing day, but flipping a player from a program like Notre Dame will always be a surprise.
Why is this so impressive?
Their class is ranked 11th in the nation as I’m writing this up and 1st in the PAC-12 which is nothing new for Oregon, so why is this any different than before? Most of these prospects have been being recruited by the same staff since the summer following their Sophomore season, Dan Lanning just got here a year ago and has had a little under half the time to recruit these same players. Given the full time to recruit those classes, I see the 2024 and 2025 Classes being more than a few spots higher. Especially considering how Lanning wrapped up the 2022 class by snagging Joshua Conerly in under a month, got Matayo over USC and Ohio State, and was able to land the by far most coveted portal player in Ajani Cornelius from Rhode Island.
What is ‘Championship Level’ recruiting?
Historically speaking, it is impossible to compete for a title without hitting a benchmark of >50% ‘Blue-Chip Ratio’ which means more 4 & 5 star recruits than not. There have been three (3) teams to breakthrough this barrier and make the title game despite being below this number, ironically two of them are Oregon under then-coach Chip Kelly, but this is almost a lock to be a pre-requisite. This class would continue to push them well above that mark and then some to build upon the foundation Willie Taggart and Mario Cristobal built at Oregon, despite the animosity their fanbase may have towards them.
Besides Dan Lanning, who are the key contributors on Staff?
There were a number of key recruiting hires made by Oregon and Lanning while putting together this staff both with on and off-field coaches. I’ll list a few but there are always faces in the shadows doing a lot of the ‘grunt work’ so to speak.
- Tosh Lupoi – Defensive Coordinator: Before going on a stint in the NFL Tosh Lupoi was known as one of the best recruiters in college football and this was expected to be amplified with NIL being instituted across the country. Tosh has been the primary recruiter for Matayo Uiagalelei, Blake Purchase, and others.
- Adrian Klemm – Offensive Line Coach: Klemm was most recently the OL Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has spent some time in the PAC-12 before coming to the Ducks. Klemm has been able to land Josh Conerly last year, Ajani Cornelius, and others this year.
- Marshall Malchow – Football Chief of Staff: Wherever Malchow has been elite classes have followed from Georgia to Texas A&M and now to Eugene with the Ducks. There has been some thought among those within the recruiting world that some of the attrition A&M has seen is because of losing guys Malchow.