Vernon Adams — A Different Kind of QB?


Any time a star athlete the caliber of Marcus Mariota moves on, his successor will inevitably be compared to him. It happened to Steve Young when Joe Montana left San Francisco, it happened to Andrew Luck after Peyton Manning left the Colts and it’s happening to Vernon Adams now that Mariota is gone.

Many comparisons have been made between Mariota and Adams, but interestingly, beyond the vague similarities about both being athletic quarterbacks, there are few other similarities between the two.

Vernon Adams is prepared to lead the Ducks into battle against his former team.

From video

Vernon Adams is prepared to lead the Ducks into battle against his former team.

According to interviews done by Austin Meek for his article for, Adams is a very boisterous type of leader. Meeks describes Adams as ” … something different. He liked to talk. He could get under your skin, but there was something infectious about the way he played.”

This is a stark contrast to Mariota, who at times was questioned for being too calm and quiet. Former EWU quarterback Kyle Padron told Meek,”[Adams] … brings his own type of energy, his own type of swag … He’s going to do his dance, and he’s going to go play. He’s going to put you in a situation to win, but he’s going to have fun doing it.”

Mariota was always seen as a very calm and collected player, so much so that some NFL scouts even questioned his mental fire pre-draft. Adams on the other hand is nothing but fire as a leader. He talks a lot and knows how to have fun while still doing his job on the field.

That makes him the type of guy who his teammates naturally follow. EWU receiver Cory Mitchell even compared Adams’ attitude to that of a defensive back, saying, “He seemed more like a DB. It’s kind of hard to explain if you don’t know football players, but DBs just have this kind of swag around them.”

Mariota and Adams have very different styles.

Amazing Moments

Mariota and Adams have very different styles.

Interestingly, the “swag” that often makes players polarizing figures seems to be almost entirely positive for Adams. “No one, it seems, can stay mad at Adams for long.” Meek wrote, “Opposing teams might be irritated by the trash talk and the gyrations, but they always walk away with grudging admiration for the way he competes.”

And that really is the bottom line with Adams — with all of his trash talk and defensive back swagger he still competes and leads like a quarterback. Meek points out that while,” … flair was part of what made Adams a cult hero in Cheney … ,” the bigger part was certainly his play on the field, and the way that he gave his all every week for his coach, city, and teammates.

While Vernon Adams and Marcus Mariota are two very different men, they do share a common personality trait — heart. Both players give their all week in and week out — Adams showing it by the way he laughs and trash talks during games and Mariota showing it by being the calm focal point of the team.

Both players are natural leaders. Adams’ former teammates and coaches talk about him without a hint of bitterness over his transferring to Oregon, which is perhaps the best evidence of how outstanding a leader he is. Ultimately, time will tell how Adams’ style of leadership works as a Duck, but no one will be able to question whether he will give his all every single game.

Top photo by Kevin Cline

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Noah Smith

Noah Smith

Noah is an undergraduate student from just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. Noah is currently pursuing a communications degree with the goal of becoming a sports journalist. Noah is a die hard Duck fan, mainly because of his obsession with football's X's and O's. In his free time he enjoys watching both pro and college football games,playing and listening to music, and drawing up his own playbooks.