Dan Lanning says freshman OL Josh Conerly could play 'relatively soon' for Oregon
Dan Lanning isn’t one to reveal too much in media settings.
The Oregon head coach said earlier this week if he felt it offered the Ducks an advantage to divulge depth chart information, he’d share starters. But he doesn’t. So he won’t. But Lanning did offer one small glimpse into the work freshman offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr. has done to work his way up the rotation.
“I think Josh is gonna be a really good player for the Ducks,” he told reporters after practice on Thursday. “I mean, I think he’s gonna be a phenomenal player for us. He’s shown that he has a worker’s mentality, has a growth mindset.
“When his time comes, I think he’ll be prepared for it. And that could be relatively soon. We’ll see.”
Short-term bumps and bruises to guys along the presumed top line of the depth chart have given Conerly a chance to work with the first team throughout fall camp. He’s been seen taking first-team reps at left tackle.
How large the role will be in Oregon’s opener remains to be seen. Lanning knows the defense Oregon will be up against when it faces the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Throwing a freshman offensive lineman into that kind of fire right away might not be the best for anyone involved.
But if Conerly has proven he can operate smoothly within this offense, he’ll see the field. The Rainier Beach (Wash.) product was a 5-star in the 2022 class and the second-ranked offensive tackle prospect in the country. If there’s an offensive lineman built to play early in the most recent class, it’s the 6-foot-4, 294-pound Conerly.
“You can tell he’s really trying to play this year as a young guy,” said defensive lineman Brandon Dorlus earlier during camp. “It’s tough to play left tackle as a freshman — especially in the Pac-12.”