Ty Thompson Era: Oregon’s Best EVER.

Alex Heining Editorials 15 Comments

Incoming freshman quarterback Ty Thompson may not get the starting job this season, but he should eventually become a superstar quarterback for the Ducks. If he’s able to get comfortable before his upperclassman years within the Oregon program, I not only see him having a couple great seasons, but the potential to lead the greatest era of football in school history(assuming COVID-19 regulations clear up and we return to sports normalcy this season).

The recruiting that head coach Mario Cristobal has spearheaded while leading the Oregon program has created a quarterback cycle that we Oregon fans can get used to moving forward with late into the 2020s. Building around a star quarterback, developing them over a season or two, and pushing towards a real championship run. Justin Herbert’s final season did only culminate in a Rose Bowl victory, but it validated the system that Cristobal has implemented. We did see Tyler Shough transfer out of the program and the Oregon team flop as a whole in 2020, but I’m going to let that one go considering the circumstances of COVID regulations and a shortened season.

Even with COVID hopefully being a more minimal factor by the time we see the Ducks suit up next season, there are a lot of other factors to consider. With the amount of attention on the program now, we can only hope the right stream of coordinators are controlling the roster and lineups when the time comes for Thompson’s upperclassman(assuming he doesn’t declare for the draft early) seasons. Nevertheless, should everything line up perfectly for Cristobal, and the stars align at the right time for the Ducks in Thompson’s seasons as an upperclassman, I can see his career culminating in a championship run.

In the end, I feel this will come down to Cristobal and the program taking one of two options when playing Thompson as Oregon’s next star quarterback.

Twitter_MesquiteFootball

In some truly spectacular high school games, Thompson already looks the part of a star quarterback.

Option 1: The Herbert Treatment Repeats

As we all saw at the end of 2019, it felt like Justin Herbert was finally allowed to be himself in the often stagnant Ducks offense, as if Cristobal and the coaching staff had been playing it safe the whole season. His rushing ability contributed greatly to the Ducks late successes in the Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl, scoring three touchdowns on the ground in his final game as a Duck.

This was no accident.

It’s clear there was a plan in place to keep Herbert in a select part of the playbook which forced the Ducks into timid offensive play calling for the better part of the season. Cristobal cannot allow this to happen with Thompson. The type of recruit that Thompson is why his implementation into the offense must work for the program to expect more quarterbacks like him long term. The Ducks have been recruiting extremely well at nearly every position, which is reason enough to want to join a program for kids looking to play at the next level.

The Ducks offense just needs to keep up their end of the bargain and keep allowing for their star players to be themselves, and that includes quarterbacks. Herbert’s injury in the past may have played a role in Cristobal’s decision on his utilization in the offense, but that can’t become a theme for quarterbacks like Thompson and others in the future.

Scott Kelley

Justin Herbert looked excited as about anyone in the stands after his three Rose Bowl touchdowns on the ground.

Option 2: Potential Realized

This is the option I think we as Oregon fans fever dream over. As stated earlier, Cristobal may have inhibited(at least partially) the viability of Herbert’s role in the offense while at Oregon. Since he’s reached the next level, his play has been nothing short of spectacular with the Los Angeles Chargers, making it clear his potential as a Duck may not have been fully realized under Cristobal’s coaching staff.

In this scenario, history does not repeat itself, and Cristobal lets Thompson flourish under whoever ends up offensive coordinator in Thompson’s upperclassman seasons as a Duck. This surely would give the Ducks the best chance to get back into the College Football Playoff and finally give a true encore performance to Mark Helfrich’s 2014-2015 team and the Chip Kelly era as a whole. To be able to reasonably expect this however, the defensive side of the ball still needs to improve before we can put the rest of the load on Thompson’s back.

Kayvon Thibodeaux’s high draft position at the next level in the ensuing NFL Draft will likely contribute greatly to Cristobal’s incredible recruiting classes, and sure-up the defense to evolve from what we saw this past COVID-ridden season. If Thompson’s talent is paired with a more seasoned skill group and the right offensive coordinator on the other side of the ball, I think an elite veteran defense would push the Ducks over the top, and aid them in finding their way to the promise land just like Marcus Mariota did in his Heisman season.

Tom Corno

Elite recruits like former five-star Kayvon Thibodeaux build title contenders.

Should Cristobal and the Oregon staff pull this off, the sky is the limit for Thompson’s raw ability to become a generational quarterback for the Ducks. But this doesn’t answer the big overarching theme of what Thompson means for Oregon, potentially elevating the program to the likes of which we’ve never seen: can the Ducks win a championship if they can make it there?

I say yes. Happy Easter, Oregon fans!

Alex Heining
Santa Barbara, California
Top Photo Credit: Twitter

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David Marsh

Interesting tell from the first two spring practices is that Crustobal did not give a depth chart or even an organizational chart for quarterbacks. Some info about the organization chart about the offensive line was shared by Mirabal but there has been NOTHING on quarterback.

The practice reports themselves have been quiet on quarterback highlights as well. Some recievers highlights bit nothing on quarterbacks by name.

There is a very real completion at quarterback this year. I get a sense that Crustobal doesn’t want too much info getting out there at this time. However, we are only two practices in and I suspect we will hear from Moorhead on Tuesday in the after practice interview … Or at least this next week.

Charles Fischer

I think this quarterback question will end up in a good-or-good result. If Thompson is good enough to unseat Anthony Brown….then this will be fun to watch.

Yet I believe that with an actual year of coaching from Moorhead, and far greater weapons available than Boston College, (where he threw for 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions) we will see a tremendous player emerge this fall. It is all good…

Fun article Alex and THANKS.

CJ

I hope Cristobal and Moorhead play the long game and go ahead and start Thompson right from the get go. We are not going to compete for a playoff spot this year so my philosophy is build for the 22 and what I believe will be the pinnacle season in 23.

On another note looks likely that Chandler Lawson’s transfer will result in his brother jumping ship too. Do they both end up playing for DePaul? My guess is yes.

Finally, regarding baseball……does anyone have any idea what happened to Peyton Fuller? He came out looking great for his first appearance but had a rocky showing in his second, but I am concerned he got injured or something as he hasn’t seen the mound in nearly a month now. If anyone has any information on why he is not playing I would very much appreciate hearing about it. He used to be my neighbor when I lived in Ashland so I have been following his progression on the Ducks baseball team pretty close but I can’t find any info on why he all of sudden stopped playing.

Charles Fischer

I see what I can find out CJ, about Fuller….

Email me in case the news is not for public distribution.

CJ

Thanks for seeing what you can find out. Let me know if it’s on the down low and I will email you for the intel.

ICamel

“Justin Herbert’s final season did only culminate in a Rose Bowl victory

Who ever imagined that the words “only culminate in a Rose Bowl victory” would ever be written! We Duck fans have been truly blessed.

Charles Fischer

Blessed across the board. We go from watching one winning program to another in our spectator movement of fall-to-winter-to-spring. I am so delighted to see the rebirth of the baseball program back to being ranked, and the Softball team vying for being one of the nation’s best.

What we have is rare…

Haywarduck

I’m just not sure Ty is going to come out on top this fall. I hope he develops into a D1 talent, ready to lead a program, but he is a freshman, who should be in high school, and came from a small school program. We need to keep our perspective on what we can expect from this kid in check.

There is, however, a plethora of talent competing for the starting job. Shough left, but he may have left to get away from the impending competition.

As Justin and Marcus showed, the elite talent isn’t always where the next great one comes from. Watch out for all the other guys, and we need to wait and see who comes out on top.

Santa Rosa Duck

This is a fun discussion Alex. I am not discounting Butterfield or Ashford either. Can you imagine Ashford at 240 pounds running the option?

Haywarduck

I agree, I hope Ty is the starter, but like Santa Rosa stated, can you imagine an athletic Ashford at 240lbs. running the RPO. I would think Moorhead is drooling over the possibility. Time will tell which is a fantasy and which is going to be reality.