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Oregon Football: Keeping the Talent in Eugene

Building a winning program means gathering all the talent you can.... and keeping it.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Dan Lanning has built something in Eugene. As many message boards today are swirling with rumors about the Alabama head coach slot being open, lets take a moment to talk about the culture at Oregon and how it has effected the roster.

Everyone has seen that Lanning and the staff he has built can go out and get top talent. But in the modern era of college athletics, being an elite recruiter is about more than just gathering great players. You have to continuously recruit your own players to stay in the program.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While Oregon certainly had its share of players enter the transfer portal in December, part of that was to make room for the top 5 class coming in. More impressive perhaps, than what is coming in, is how much Dan Lanning has convinced to stay.

There are 16 draft-eligible players from the 2023 roster currently expected back in college uniforms for 2024. That kind of commitment to the team is rare. But as we saw Bucky Irving and Bo Nix suit up for the Fiesta Bowl despite both heading for the draft this year, Dan Lanning has built a culture where people put the team ahead of themselves.

Here is some of the talent Oregon looks to have back:

Tez Johnson, Wide Receiver

Tysheem Johnson, Safety

Traeshon Holden, Wide Receiver

Noah Whittington, Running Back

Jeffrey Bassa, Linebacker

Jestin Jacobs, Linebacker

Jordan Burch, Defensive End

Ajani Cornelius, Right Tackle

Terrence Ferguson, Tight End

Patrick Herbert, Tight End

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

That is some incredible talent. Add this batch of developed talent to the recent recruiting success, and sprinkle in a few big impact transfers and it becomes clear that Lanning is building a team that can do more than just create nightmares in the Big10. This is a squad eyeing playoff spots and national titles.

Of course, some amazing players are also off to the NFL Draft.

Bucky Irving, Running Back

Jamal Hill, Linebacker

Jackson Powers-Johnson, Center

Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver

Kyree Jackson, Cornerback

Developing NFL-level talent is tough. Keeping it in the locker room in today’s game is even more impressive. Keep up the good work, Dan.