Vernon Adams to Visit Oregon: Decision on Transfer Looms Large


On June 27th, 2011 future Seattle Seahawks QB and Super Bowl 48 Champion Russell Wilson, with then head coach Bret Bielema announced he was transferring to Big 10 powerhouse Wisconsin. Most Oregon Duck fans remember Wilson from the Rose Bowl game against the Badgers – the first Rose Bowl victory for the Ducks in 95 years. What Wilson did for the Badgers that year may be exactly why Mark Helfrich and his staff have made an offer to Eastern Washington University QB Vernon Adams.

Wilson led Wisconsin to one of the most productive seasons in school history, coming two game-ending hail mary’s away from playing in their first BCS National Championship game. Adams, without a doubt, is a special talent who finished second two years in a row for the Walton Payton Player of the Year award. His stats over the last three years are eerily similar to Oregon’s Heisman Winner, Marcus Mariota:

Mariota: 10,796 yards passing, 105 TD’s, 14 INT’s

Adams: 10,438 yards passing, 110 TD’s, 31 INT’s

While Adams is physically more similar to Wilson, as a playmaker he is reminicent of Mariota.  Both are exceptional QB’s, but is it already a done deal?B48nItCCEAEab7t (1)

Jim Allen from the Spokane Review spoke with Vernon Adams today, talking about his offer from Oregon, the idea of transferring, and what he’s looking for from the Ducks.

“I’m not saying I’m leaving Eastern, but I’m just going to check it out and see what they have to say…I’m not going there to be a walk-on or a second-stringer.”

Adams leaves for Eugene on Friday, returning Sunday. He knows that moving to an FBS school like Oregon could help his NFL Draft stock immensely:

“(I would have) a shot at playing at a higher level every single week.”

The challenge for the exceptionally athletic Adams is catching up to the other quarterbacks currently on the roster. As Andrew Greif of OregonLive reported, just because Oregon can take a transfer, doesn’t necessarily mean they would:

“We’re going to exhaust every path to find the right guy, the right fit, but we certainly believe in who is on campus and what is to come,” Helfrich said.

Adams would have stiff competition, as the Ducks QB roster is already pretty well stocked, with Jeff Lockie, Morgan Mahalak, Ty Griffin, Taylor Alie, and the imminent signing of Four-star recruit Travis Waller out of California. Another important question is whether Vernon Adams transferring to Oregon would affect the signing of Waller. Would Helfrich and company risk the future for one year?

Wisconsin had an amazing season with Russell Wilson, even though it ended with a loss. What most Oregon fans don’t remember is that Wisconsin returned to the Rose Bowl the following year, after Wilson left for the NFL. The transfer worked out for the Badgers, perhaps it can work out for the Ducks as well. Or maybe, Oregon already has what it needs. Raise your hand if you picked Mariota as the starter before the 2012 Ducks spring game. Yeah, neither did I.

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Paul Jones

Paul Jones

I (Managing Editor and Writer) am a lifelong Oregon Duck fan, currently living in Seattle, WA. While born and raised in the Pacific Northwest,; a Tour of Duty in the USMC and a successful corporate career has taken me all over the U.S. I graduated from Willamette University with a BA in Economics, minoring in Mathematics. I wrote for the Statesman Journal during the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s and have contributed to a number of online publications. I am married, the father of two awesome girls, and the Managing Editor for You can find me at: @Bigducklitlduck on most social media, or email me here.

  • hokieduck

    My hand is firmly raised. I still remember watching MM’s HS vid and sitting there dumfounded. I couldn’t wait until the Spring Game because I was sure that MM would blow everyone out of the water. Go back and watch his tape; it is still on YouTube. He was making every throw, and making them while rolling to the right and to the left. His ghostly acceleration was already there in HS. He went through his progressions quite well even then.

    I trust the Ducks coaching staff, especially Helfrich who saw and recognized what he saw with MM. If they think that Adams can pick up the playbook and learn the mesh and get on the same page with his skill guys in a month, then I trust that decision. My gut is that that is an extremely tough challenge especially since he will miss spring practices.