Our Oregon Ducks’ football program has had a SPECTACULAR past two weeks. Primarily, at the quarterback position.
Following a Heisman finalist leaving the program in superstar Bo Nix, you might expect there to be a bit of a talent drop-off. Fortunately, even before Nix has officially even left the program, quarterback has quickly become a strength of the Ducks. Dan Lanning has supercharged this roster with talent through the transfer portal and recruiting, complementing an elite array of skill position players with seasoned signal callers and young talents alike. Now, the Ducks are in a better spot than ever to contend in the College Football Playoff for seasons to come.
That monumental change that’s come over the past couple of weeks starts with an incoming superstar out of the Big 12, as well as a familiar face straight from the PAC-12. Mr. FishDuck took time from his fun with new nektan slots to share with me his amazement at the talent being assembled in Eugene. It is something he’s not seen since the Ducks had Akili Smith, AJ Feeley, and Joey Harrington in the same QB room at Oregon.
Dillon Gabriel, a transfer from Oklahoma and Oregon’s second-newest signal caller, easily can be a plug-and-play starter for his last season of college ball in Eugene, OR. He has a great arm, a ton of poise, and has already “been there before” after winning numerous big games against ranked opponents. Expect a more complete player than when Nix arrived at Oregon, and a huge opportunity for Gabriel to mentor the young guys as well.
Additionally, soon-to-be sophomore Austin Novosad is already on the roster, who’s a four-star recruit that came from an outstanding pivot move this past offseason by Lanning when Dante Moore de-committed from our Ducks. Instead of landing Novosad outright, the tables would turn when Moore ended up joining UCLA, after offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham left Oregon for his dream job as the head coach of Arizona State.
Well, those tables have turned yet again.
Moore has officially transferred after just one season with the UCLA Bruins back to Eugene, re-joining Lanning and becoming a clear-cut favorite for the starting job in 2025. His addition to this room has cemented Oregon’s quarterback regime among the best in the country, if not the standalone best.
Fortunately, these are the problems you want with your program. We as a fanbase were about to enter the offseason with a massive question mark at the most important position on the field, and had no idea who would be starting next year. We expected Ty Thompson to be the frontrunner for the job, but after numerous hiccups and never really securing coach confidence in his time with the Ducks, he shipped off quickly following Gabriel’s transfer to Oregon.
Well, looks like that didn’t really do much to Lanning’s plans. As he has proven time and time again, never doubt what the man at the helm’s got up his sleeve. In two weeks time, Lanning has created one of the most complete quarterback rooms with a past, present, and future at the position.
Bottom Line: Oregon’s Quarterback Room is as Good as EVER
The truth is, we didn’t think much of Nix before he got to Oregon. Most folks would probably chalk him up as a mediocre quarterback out of Auburn who might have enough talent to get to the NFL. Now, he’s a borderline first-round pick, was third in Heisman voting, and dominated the PAC-12 over the past two seasons.
Regardless of whether you think this is Oregon’s best quarterback room or not, the same or even loftier expectations can be set for both Gabriel and Moore. With Novosad learning too, Oregon is well equipped to have its best roster yet. Let’s see Lanning start to develop some much-needed in-house talent at the position, and dominate the Big Ten for years to come without any more transfers at quarterback for a while.
Wouldn’t that be a sight?
Anyway, enough from me, Oregon fans. Do you think Oregon has one of the best quarterback rooms in the country? How do you think the young signal callers will develop around Gabriel in 2024? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo From: Twitter @mtorressports
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
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