Dan Lanning says Big Ten move gave Oregon 'clear vision,' set stage for historic signing class
Dan Lanning and his staff signed the best recruiting class in Oregon Ducks history this week.
On Wednesday, Oregon flipped 4-star wide receivers Jeremiah McClellan (Ohio State) and Ryan Pellum (USC). They also held off advances from other programs and didn’t see a single committed recruit leave the class. That meant fighting off serious challengers for 4-stars Dillon Gresham and Dylan Williams. Then, on Thursday, Oregon signed 4-star defensive lineman Jericho Johnson to ensure all 26 commits signed within the first two days of the early window.
The class ranks fourth nationally. It includes 21 4-star prospects in the industry-generated 247 Composite and an overall score of 288.04 — the highest for a single Oregon class in the online recruiting rankings era.
“Good day for the Ducks,” Lanning said as he sat down for his signing day press conference.
“I think it shows the staff and the program’s work that they’ve put forward, and the vision for the program and where we’re headed,” Lanning said. “The best way to enhance your team is to enhance your talent, and then it goes to developing that talent. We have that, so we’ve got a great chance to be successful here.”
Lanning said days like Wednesday are about keeping your phone plugged in, but also about making sure you’ve done your work up to that point.
Flipping a player like Pellum or McClellan requires continuing to build and nurse a relationship even after initially being told “thanks, but no thanks.” Some coaches will cut and move on to others. Lanning has shown a penchant for pulling off signing day stunners during his first two full recruiting cycles at Oregon.
“It’s just an every day approach. We’ve got a staff that’s been doing this for awhile and recognizes it’s not about the short-term, it’s about being able to do something every single day, focus on the long-term goals,” Lanning said. “It’s a lot of work for our staff, a lot of work for everybody here in the program, but that’s the way these days are supposed to look like.”
And the upcoming move to the Big Ten certainly helps. Throughout the 2022 season, Oregon was in a state of limbo. USC and UCLA had announced plans to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten shortly before fall camp got underway, and that announcement shook the ground under everyone else’s feet.
With Oregon securing its future move to the Big Ten, Lanning had another bullet point to add to the sales pitch.
“Everyone has seen what Oregon is and what it can be here,” he said. “I think the move to the Big Ten gave everyone a clear vision about where we’re headed as well. It’s a premier conference in college football. Us getting to be a part of that and build and enhance that conference was something that was really important I think to the guys that we brought in this class and our coaching staff as well.”