'It's not a sprint to get it wrong': Dan Lanning doesn't want to rush his first Oregon class
After he got off the zoom meeting with reporters to talk about the class that was already signed, Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was going to spend the rest of his evening recruiting. The new Ducks coach said he thought there was the potential for a few more pieces to jump on board before the end of the week.
Lanning’s life is quite hectic right now. Such is life when the lifeblood is recruiting and you’re working on a condensed timetable.
The former Georgia defensive coordinator was introduced as Oregon’s new head coach less than 2 weeks before the opening of the Early Signing Period. With the way the coaching carousel operates now and how expedited the recruiting calendar has become, coaches changing jobs become strangers to the class they come to inherit.
They either convince kids to give them a chance and build the relationship after the fact—the inverse of how these things typically go—or the class falls apart and you just hope to pick the pieces up by the national signing date in February.
Oregon signed 7 players from its 2022 class on Wednesday when the ESP opened.
“I think there are some exciting players that can come make an impact early,” Lanning said, via 247Sports.
But there was only a familiarity with a few. This 2022 class, by and large, is a leap of faith on both sides, Lanning said Thursday.
“There was a familiarity with some of these guys, but I’ll say for a lot of these guys this was some of my first contact in the last couple days,” he said. “This is a little outside of the footprint of Georgia and where we’ve recruited. That being said, on my flight over on Sunday I started texting these guys on the plane. I hit up every single one of the commitments as we were coming over. If I could have called them I would have but, you know, that doesn’t work on a plane ride, but the wifi was working so we started with text messages.
“I’ll say this about this group: they were all extremely understanding. My first priority for everything when I got to Oregon was to sit down and try to get with some of our current players and speak to some of our current players. This class was super understanding about that in a short period of time and knew that we were gonna be pressed for time but they showed some faith in us being able to build a relationship moving forward.”
Asked what his recruiting pitch was to potential signees, Lanning pumped the brakes.
“I’ll be honest it really hasn’t been a pitch,” he said. “We could have had a lot more people sign paperwork and sent it across the board on Wednesday if that’s what we wanted to do. It was important for me to communicate that, ‘Hey, we have time.’ There’s another signing day coming up. This isn’t a sprint.
“It’s not a sprint to get it wrong, let’s walk and get it right. Let’s make sure we’re getting the right pieces added to our program. (There) wasn’t really a pitch. It’s, hey, follow the track record that I’ve had in the past, let’s look at the resources that Oregon provides and the education that you can get here and I think people can see that at face value.”
And Lanning has zero concern about being able to get in the door with top prospects, so he wants to take his time and evaluate.
“The Northwest and the West Coast are going to be primary targets for us,” he said. “That being said we’ll go anywhere int he nation because I think that we have a strong brand and players want to be able to play at a place that has a strong brand.”