Can Texas A&M Football Pry Away Oregon’s HC?
We all knew this name would be on the list. Dan Lanning is, in many ways, the dream hire for Texas A&M football. He checks all the boxes I’ve laid out in this article. So far up in Eugene, he’s delivering in a big way. He identified what he needs at OC and he delivered on that hire. He has created a ferocious unit on the defensive side of the ball without the benefit of Georgia, Alabama, or Texas A&M-level talent. His Ducks team is currently ranked fourth in the nation in SP+ (paid content)—a higher mark than Jimbo has yet reached in any week as head coach of Texas A&M football.
What’s more, he can recruit. Many Aggies lamented the departure of Marshall Malchow, the Aggies’ director of recruiting during the legendary 2022 cycle. Guess where he landed? With his best buddy Lanning, up in Eugene. Remember what I said about how hard it is to recruit guys to the Pacific Northwest? The Ducks currently boast the sixth-ranked class in the nation, with two five stars currently committed among a slew of other top talents. Don’t think Lanning isn’t aware of the disadvantages of his current situation (as good as it is compared to other schools in the area) compared to the natural advantages of a school in Texas—an hour away from Houston and able to reach into the South without much trouble to land top names. Lanning, in contrast to Jimbo, has shown an ability to embrace the modern game when it comes to offense (by hiring Will Stein), while remaining on the cutting edge defensively.
The elephant in the room is what it would cost to land Lanning. This is why I’m cautious here: he’s the guy that checks all the boxes you could want, but he is also one who may cost a pretty penny to land. But the return you’d get would be massive. He brings a big name, recruiting prowess, coaching acumen, ability to handle the spotlight, and more. There’s a reason each of the last few Oregon coaches have left for opportunities in more southern locales. If the Aggie donors feel they can outbid Phil Knight and the Oregon donors, then I say don’t wait—go and get Lanning now. If not, then maybe bide your time. But this is the top name, in my opinion, that would bring everything the Aggies need.
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