Well Dan, that was impressive
Early signing day promised to be a show and the Ducks started setting off the fireworks early.
You can believe that signing day is chaos.
In fact, we’ve all been telling you that this specific signing day was going to be the signing day to end all signing days — what, with the portal open, NIL running free, bowl games to prepare for and coaches playing musical chairs.
And maybe it was rough for everyone.
But two days after very publicly losing the No. 3 recruit in the country to UCLA in a move that prompted a chorus of “that’s the power of the Big 10” stories, Dan Lanning arrived for his press conference on Wednesday with combed hair. He looked well rested and mostly did a stellar job of hiding a grin.
It slipped out a bit, however, when he was asked if he expected any of this.
“Generally there’s not a lot of opportunities where you get to the hat ceremony and you don’t know where you sit,” Lanning said. “I would say we were really clued into being in a great position on a lot of these.”
Two hours before he spoke, Oregon landed 10 stars in a span of nine minutes, first with a flip of 5-star safety Peyton Bowen from Notre Dame, closely followed by 5-star edge rusher Matayo Uiagalelei. Those two came in addition to four-star quarterback Austin Novosad, a former Baylor commit whose relationship with new Oregon OC Will Stein helped kick off off a morning of fireworks for the Ducks.
Oregon opened the day with the 14th-best class in the nation and sits at No. 6 nationally and No. 1 in the Pac-12 as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Only Alabama (6) and Texas (4) pulled in more than Oregon’s three 5-star recruits. Those worries that the Ducks would fall behind in this ever-escalating arms race?
This could be the best class Oregon’s assembled — and there’s still room to improve down the stretch.
“We were able to address some needs across the board for our team that I think are going to make us better moving forward and keep us competitive next season,” Lanning said.
And maybe the writing was actually on the wall.
Look, every year in the lead up to signing day social media turns into a wall of noise. There’s an entire industry built just around what happens during this week and the first week in February. But Tuesday night turned into a trip when Nebraska coach Matt Rhule tweeted this: