With a national brand and a strong staff, Dan Lanning says Oregon can and will attract 'great players'
Of the 19 blue-chip prospects Georgia is expected to add in the 2022 class—signed or committed to sign—17 of them have come from either the state of Georgia or a contiguous neighboring state. The Bulldogs don’t have to go very far for talent.
All five of the 5-star Bulldogs signees so far have come from either Florida or Georgia. The Atlanta metro area is booming. The state of Alabama is right next door to the west, and Florida is there to the south. There’s not a better place to be for a modern-day recruiting machine.
When Dan Lanning coaches his final game at Georgia on Jan. 10, packs up and officially moves to Eugene to take over full-time as the Ducks’ new head coach, he’ll be leaving that behind. To an extent.
Of course, the coach will have California available to him, and between that and the state of Washington, there were 36 blue-chip prospects in the 2022 class. Lanning’s proclivity for high-value talent acquisition will almost assuredly travel. Though he can’t just pick up the Atlanta metro and move it with him—and no doubt this will be new terrain—he can bring what he’s learned under Georgia head coach Kirby Smart to the Pacific Northwest.
Asked about that on Wednesday when he met with members of the media ahead of the CFP National Championship game, about what kinds of strategies or philosophies from his time at Georgia he can bring with him, Lanning expressed a pretty good deal of confidence.
“One of the big benefits of Oregon is it’s a national brand,” he said, per Dawg Post’s Matt DeBary. “We can go anywhere in the nation and be able to sign players. But I think you can just bring that relentless pursuit that we operate with day in, day out here and the organization behind it. We can bring the mentality of how we play football to a certain level.
“I’ve been fortunate to have high-quality experiences in my team here, whether it be at Georgia or Memphis or Alabama or some of the other places I’ve been able to visit and coach. So taking all that out there I think will be really important. The biggest thing is just learning from that experience. Not any situation is the exact same. But recruiting ultimately, at the end of the day, comes down to work. And it’s going to take work to get great players at Oregon.”
To that end, Lanning has certainly prioritized bringing assistant coaches with him who share that same ferocity for the day-to-day grind that is high-level recruiting.
According to Dave Bartoo, an analytical consultant for college coaches, athletic directors, and football operations staffs, is the highest-graded group of newly-assembled coaches since 2016 and one of the highest-graded collective staffs going back more than a decade.
Lanning himself ranks ninth in 247Sports’ recruiter rankings this season. Drew Mehringer, the program’s new tight ends coach, ranked third in those same rankings for 2019. Tosh Lupoi, widely reported to be the final addition for Lanning’s staff—though nothing has been officially announced yet—ranked 20th in 2019, seventh in both 2017 and 2018, and ninth in 2016. Demetrice Martin, the program’s new corners coach, ranked 14th in 2017.
“We have the ability to get great players there,” Lanning said, “and great players should want to come there.”