What a surprise it would be if the highly-touted Ty Thompson fell to third on the Oregon depth chart. I have not seen anything official on any depth charts that he has, but, at least on this particular day, Thompson must not have been playing his best while Butterfield must have been stepping up. Perhaps it was nothing more than a temporary motivational tool used by head coach Dan Lanning to light a fire under Thompson’s foot, but it sure makes one wonder.
In my last post I touched on how the transfer portal has changed the way coaches approach the depth chart (i.e. appeasing players to lower the risk of transferring). Perhaps this was a play by Lanning to appease Butterfield to keep him fully engaged in competing for one of the top two spots, and by doing so attempting to lower Butterfield’s potential desire to transfer.
With Bo Nix receiving the majority of the first-team reps this spring, it appears he will enter the fall as the top QB on the depth chart. If he does indeed win the job, then the consensus is that at least one (if not both) of the backups will transfer. Odds are, with all of the fanfare around his recruitment, Thompson would be the one to bolt, leaving Butterfield as the Oregon backup if he chooses to remain in Eugene.
Which, could be the very thing that Butterfield needs. If Nix is the starter for the next two seasons, that would give Butterfield the luxury of mastering the Kenny Dillingham system for two years before stepping into the starting role for two seasons starting in 2024. Reminds me of a fellow pro-style quarterback in Mac Jones who backed up an athletic quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa (ya know, that guy drafted ahead of Justin Herbert) for a couple of years at Alabama before having a breakout season, foregoing his senior season, and getting drafted in the first round last year by the New England Patriots.
Of course, this would require patience on behalf of Butterfield — something in low supply in today’s world of college athletics. But, it just might be the right play by Butterfield. After all, there are worse situations for a college quarterback than only starting for two years at the University of Oregon. And, if he is anything like Jones, it might just be for one.
We can only hope.
Top photo credit: Pac-12 Video
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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