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Torres' Take: How Does Kenny Dillingham's Departure Affect Oregon Football Recruiting?

The Ducks are now looking for a new offensive coordinator less than a month out from the early signing period.
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Kenny Dillingham took the Arizona State job over the weekend and added another layer of uncertainty around the Oregon football program. 

Not only does the coaching staff need to manage the transfer portal between now and the bowl game, they also want to secure as many signatures as possible from their 2023 recruiting class when the early signing period starts on Dec. 21.

Now that the Ducks are looking for a new offensive coordinator for the second straight year, let's take a look at how Kenny Dillingham's departure could affect Oregon on the recruiting trail.

READ MORE: Bo Nix shares thoughts on his future following Oregon State loss

Dante Moore

This is the biggest name Duck fans will want to track following the big news over the weekend. Moore is the No. 1 recruit in the country according to SI All-American and we know Dillingham was a key factor in his decision to commit to Oregon.

He's the headliner of this class and it's no secret that you need to have elite quarterback play if you want to be in the mix for a national championship. Moore committed to Oregon over the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and others back in July.

Don't be surprised if schools like these give chase, but there are still a lot of foundational pieces for a strong offense in Eugene--including more skill talent on the way with Moore in the 2023 class. Holding onto Moore's commitment becomes even more important for Oregon following Dillingham's departure for two key reasons.

First, Bo Nix hasn't made his NFL decision--so you need to have a plan in place in the event he decides to go pro. In that case Oregon would be in almost the same position they were in last offseason: a young, talented quarterback room with no proven success at the college level.

Secondly, the Ducks already missed on a number of talented passers like Nico Iamaleava and Jaden Rashada before landing the Detroit product. If they were to lose Moore, they'd be left with slim pickings in the senior class and would likely have to pursue arms committed to other schools or in the transfer portal.

The quarterback position has been one of the turbulent ones in Eugene for the past couple of years and keeping Moore in the fold could help add some much-needed stability.

He'll be keeping a close eye on who Oregon hires as their new offensive coordinator, but you shouldn't rush a crucial hire to keep one class together, much less one recruit.

Jurrion Dickey

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The other five-star recruit in this class, Dickey is in the mix for the nation's best wide receiver. He said he's 100% committed to Oregon in our most recent update, but big-name SEC programs continue to reach out.

Dillingham likely had some kind of role in this recruitment whether it be selling the scheme or some other aspect of the program, but Junior Adams is the strongest relationship he has on staff. At this time I'm not concerned about where things stand, but not signing early does leave the door open for other schools.

Big picture

Looking at the big picture, we can probably state the obvious that this shouldn't have too much if any affect with the defensive recruits in this class. The Ducks do however have four recruits from the state of Arizona, where we know Dillingham is very connected. But he wasn't/isn't the only Arizona native on the staff.

One other recruit we're tracking is running back Dante Dowdell. Committed to Oregon since May, in-state powers like Mississippi State are still pushing. The latest I'm hearing is he plans to be back in Eugene for his official visit in December. I still think that commitment is very solid.

Aside from that, I think we shouldn't be surprised to see commits take visits to some other schools. Given a development such as this, you'd probably want to cross your I's and dot your t's.

I don't want to undervalue or understate Dillingham's value to the staff, but I don't see this as a sky is falling scenario. 

The Ducks lost their offensive coordinator, not their head coach.

I went much more in-depth on this question in the latest episode of the Ducks Dish Podcast with Sports Illustrated Director of Recruiting John Garcia Jr.

READ MORE: OL Gernorris Wilson breaks down Oregon commitment

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