Five-star quarterback Dante Moore has signed to the Oregon Ducks, he announced Friday at the SportsCenter.
Moore, who is ranked 8th overall on the 2023 ESPN 300, is the highest-ranked engagement for new Ducks coach Dan Lanning and his staff. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback from Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School is ranked No. 3 in pocket passing in the country.
“Coach Lanning is going to be a great head coach because he knows what it takes to make a national championship, obviously at Georgia,” Moore told ESPN. “Coach [Kenny] Dillingham as offensive coordinator I know I can trust for years to come. The playmakers and the team they are building around them will be great for me going forward.”
Despite reports that Notre Dame was the best school at one point during his recruiting, Moore continued to visit schools including Texas A&M, LSU, and Miami to ensure he was making the best decision.
“Visiting all the schools with different facilities, different coaching staffs, and meeting great coaches… and talking to them is probably one of the best things to do throughout the process,” Moore told ESPN. “… There wasn’t anyone I showed favoritism to throughout the process, I was open and just enjoyed it.”
Moore, who completed his final college visit in Oregon in late June, had already formed a relationship with Dillingham, who was Florida State’s offensive coordinator before joining Lanning in Oregon. Moore wanted to develop a better relationship with the other staff and his visit was a chance to do just that and get a feel for the university itself.
“To go out there and see the facilities, the best facilities in the country I think,” Moore said. “Everything is updated and [Nike founder] Phil Knight put so much money into college. Anything at the university will help. People who go to Oregon receive the best throughout their stay because they have all the tools they need to improve.
Oregon is a school where many prospects are looking for NIL deals and networking potential beyond the college experience, and Moore understands the potential of building his brand with the Ducks.
“This whole process, a lot of coaches and reporters know about me that when it comes to NIL, I’m just a kid trying to play football and just get better,” Moore said. “I know it’s Nike and Phil Knight. Of course there can be great opportunities for NIL and build my brand. I know it’s going to be a great process, but we haven’t talked much about it yet.”
The timing of Moore’s engagement comes after USC and UCLA announced they would both be leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big 10 in 2024. That leaves Oregon with questions about its future, but the uncertainty hasn’t fazed Moore.
“I called Coach Dillingham and asked if they were going to join the Big 10 and he said they didn’t know yet,” Moore said. “Coach Lanning and all the coaches and everyone didn’t have a lot of input into it, but if they join them or join the Big 12 or whatever it is, I know we’re going to be in a big conference where we can continue to compete to be the best we can be.”
Moore has the talent and ability to jump straight into Oregon and start competing. Lanning and Dillingham added Auburn transfer Bo Nix for the next two seasons. Former ESPN 300 quarterback Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield are also on the list.
Thompson and Butterfield don’t have much experience; Nix played in his first season for Dillingham at Auburn.
“You can have multiple receivers on the field, multiple linemen,” Moore said. “But as a quarterback, there’s only one of you on the field. You have to trust your quarterback coach and offensive coordinator that they believe they can help you get into the league or improve.
“They have several quarterbacks on the list, but I want to come in and compete, try and possibly get a starting job or compete. You have to compete everywhere. If you look at the quarterback depth chart, that was a big part of the whole process.”
Moore was one of two ESPN 300 quarterbacks to remain committed, leaving Dylan Lonergan (No. 62) as the only untied top 300 signal caller in the class.