By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Dan Lanning and the Oregon Ducks coaching staff are raising eyebrows with their hot start to the 2024 recruiting class.
To date, the Ducks have landed 14 verbal commitments from players representing nine different states. 247 Sports currently ranks Oregon’s 2024 class sixth-best in the country.
Brandon Huffman is the national recruiting editor for 247 Sports and he told John Canzano on 750 The Game that Lanning and Co. are maximizing the strong reputation Oregon Ducks football has on the recruiting trail.
“What they’re doing is they’re capitalizing on the national brand that they have become in the last 10-12 years,” Huffman said. “Yes, you can think back to when Joey Harrington’s banner hung in Times Square, but the high school kids, the seniors right now, that was five years before they were even born at that point. But they remember the Marcus Mariota years.
“Most seniors in high school, most juniors in high school, when they started really watching college football in their later elementary years, they watched Marcus Mariota win a Heisman, they saw Oregon play for a national championship, they’ve seen Justin Herbert win a Rose Bowl and now flourish in the NFL, so they’ve got this national brand.”
Huffman said the ability to bring in top talent from all over the country is especially important when that talent is not as easy to find in the state of Oregon or Pacific Northwest region.
“While they don’t have a fertile recruiting ground in their backyard like a lot of the other states in the Pac-12 do, they can recruit nationally,” Huffman said, adding the wide-ranging experiences of Lanning and his coaching staff are also recruiting advantages.
“You bring in a coach who came from Georgia, who came from recruiting that southeast and came from building a national championship squad defensively from those southern ties. And you have coaches that have had experience all over the country – you’re going to tap into those regions. And that’s no surprise why you see them go in to an Oklahoma to get Xadavien Sims (4-star DL), why they’re able to go into Pennsylvania for recruits, why they’re able to go into Texas and the southeast, because they’ve got coaches that have come from all over the country, and they are a national brand.”
Gone are the days where recruiting competitors could downplay Oregon based simply on geography.
“It’s not – ‘Oregon’s on the other side of the country’,” said Huffman. “It’s Oregon’s a school that’s putting guys in the league, they’re playing in big time games, they’re playing against big time opponents, they’re playing on television week after week, they’ve got the NIKE connection, but it’s all of those things, and Oregon’s really knowing how to capitalize on all of those things.”
Check out the conversation with John Canzano and Brandon Huffman below, where Huffman also talks about the natural fit for quarterback Aidan Chiles at Oregon State, what sets the Beavers apart in recruiting, and what a ballpark idea looks like for a common NIL deal.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.