Not too long ago, there was a lot of buzz regarding Braxton Miller transferring to Oregon – considering the quarterback situation at Ohio State. So much so that ESPN’s PTI and Around The Horn talked about the possibility of the move on their shows. That rumor has lost its luster as of late, and honestly, I’m not even mad about it.
We are Oregon. We decide to do things our own way, and for better or worse, it usually works out for us. This will sounds cocky, but I assure you this confidence is results based. We don’t need other schools’ players; they need ours more often than not. I honestly can’t remember the last time Oregon had a transfer player come in, but I sure remember seeing kids leave to play elsewhere. So why start bringing in players now?
Sure it would be nice to have the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, but we don’t NEED him. Remember back before the 2012 season, Oregon was searching for a quarterback after Darron Thomas (who took us to a national title and Rose Bowl victory) left to test the NFL Draft. Some unknown three-star kid from Hawaii stole the show, became the best Duck quarterback ever, and eventually won the Heisman Trophy. If we brought someone else in via transfer, would that ever have happened? Not to say you can just find a talent like Marcus Mariota that easily, but if history is any indication, some unknown Duck will step up and steal the show and grab the starting job. Surprising us all in the process.
There is another rumor that Vernon Adams, the Eastern Washington quarterback, could transfer to either Oregon or UCLA, or stay at the FCS level for his senior year. I’ll give my take on this real quick; I don’t want him. Adams doesn’t want to transfer unless he will be the starter… that concerning. I don’t want a kid who doesn’t want to compete and earn the job. If you’re that good, why couldn’t you beat someone out? I’ll leave it at that.
There is talent on this roster at quarterback. Aside from Jeff Lockie, who I personally believe will be a career backup at Oregon much like Nate Costa, the Ducks have good young talent ready to show what they can do. Two redshirt freshman, Morgan Mahalak and Ty Griffin, will both have a chance to earn the starting job this spring. Not to mention incoming true freshman Travis Waller will likely be in school in time to compete in spring ball as well. That gives Oregon three dynamic options at signal caller; someone will step up and take over and begin the post-Mariota era. Also, regardless of whoever is at quarterback, they will have a powerful running game and a plethora of weapons to throw the ball to. That will help the first year starter ease into the role.
As fans, we want our team to be the best it can be every year. We believe in our hearts that the low points are behind us, and we can compete for titles every year. Which is absolutely the right mindset for us Duck fans. But don’t get caught up in the “sexy” names and quick fixes to fill the hole our Heisman winner left. Don’t underestimate these Ducks. A Surprise could be right around the corner.
Top photo by Craig Strobeck