While much of the attention paid to this offseason’s QB competition has been focused on Vernon Adams, Jr., the simple fact is that he isn’t in Eugene yet. Because he is a transfer student he will not be allowed to join the team until June when he graduates from EWU.
Many people, myself included, tend to believe that once he shows up it will be a competition between him and Jeff Lockie for the starting job. If this is indeed the case, Lockie, who already had the advantage of having experience with Oregon‘s system, playbook, and coaches, will also have the advantage of a head start over Adams. This begs the question, could Lockie get out to such a lead in the spring that he could essentially win the job before Adams even gets into camp?
It’s not as far-fetched an idea as you may think. For one thing, even though Adams is coming in with a lot of buzz around him, this isn’t the NFL and Oregon didn’t pay anything for him. This means that the only one who loses anything if Adams doesn’t start – is Adams himself.
At the same time, you have to think that Lockie has more of a presence in the locker room, since he is the guy who stuck it out as Marcus Mariota‘s backup for the last three seasons. In addition, some players may not appreciate the idea of a guy they’ve never played with jumping Lockie to be the so-called leader of the team. While Lockie has put in the time at Oregon, undoubtedly making friends and allies along the way, Adams is an outsider and an unknown as an FBS-caliber player.
Many people certainly seem to think that the starting QB job is Adams’ job to lose. But if you really look at it, it should be Lockie’s job to lose. He already knows the system by heart and is much more of a known quantity than Adams.
We won’t know which of these players will be the starter until Adams joins the team in June, and perhaps not for a while after that. In the end, even though Lockie may not be the athlete that Adams is, he does have something that may prove to be more important — experience.
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck
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