Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez might want to get a restraining order put on Oregon coach Willie Taggart.
For the second time in four weeks, Taggart has swiped a recruit from the Wildcats' commitment list.
On Friday, four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister, out of La Jolla, Calif., announced via Twitter that he has signed early with Oregon and plans to join the team in time to participate in spring drills.
This swipe for Taggart comes after he had secured a commitment from three-star athlete Darrian McNeal (Seffner, Fla.,) on Dec. 11.
Both players appeared to be firmly committed to Arizona before Taggart swooped in to convince them they would be better off in green and yellow.
“The tradition of Oregon football is special, a great thing,” Burmeister told reporters, according to the San Diego Tribune. “Coach Taggart wants to restore things to the way they used to be. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Burmeister, who put up ridiculous numbers in high school, is certainly a nice get for Oregon. As a senior, Burmeister passed for 4,461 yards and 53 touchdowns while rushing for 1,470 yards and 27 touchdowns as he led La Jolla to the San Diego Section Division IV title. His team also won the Southern California Division 5-A championship before losing in the 5-A title game.
Burmeister set career section records with 11,499 yards passing, 128 touchdown passes and 936 completions. He is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 13 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He comes with a lot of similarities to South Florida QB Quinton Flowers, who led Taggart's Bulls to 18 wins over the last two seasons.
Burmeister is listed at a solid 6-foot, 211-pounds while Flowers plays at 6-foot, 210. Both are fearless inside runners. Burmeister, as seen in his Hudl highlight videos, made a lot of plays in the running game going straight ahead. Similarly, Flowers did a lot of the same for USF where in 2016 he rushed for 1,530 yards and 15 touchdowns, and passed for 2,807 yards and 24 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
Furthermore, both have very quick feet, are elusive in tight spaces and throw with great accuracy.
There's no mystery as to why Rodriguez wanted Burmeister for his spread offense.
So where does he fit in at Oregon?
Well, he will join a crowded quarterbacks depth chart. The Ducks return starter Justin Herbert, who will be a sophomore in 2017. He will be competing to keep his starting job under Taggart against redshirt freshman Terry Wilson Jr. and redshirt sophomore Travis Jonsen.
Adding Burmeister gives UO four scholarship quarterbacks, two freshmen and two sophomores.
Something has to give. It's somewhat surprising that Jonsen, fourth string in 2016 when senior Dakota Prukop was in the mix, has not transferred somewhere that needs a quarterback.
Herbert, a three-star recruit in 2016, is the front-runner to start in 2017 after he put up phenomenal statistics for a true freshman, passing for 1,986 yards and 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Wilson, a three-star recruit in 2016, has a chance to make a competition out of the race because of his superior running ability, which fits well with what Taggart ran at South Florida.
However, Taggart has had successful offenses without a true dual-threat quarterback. Herbert can run the ball, but not on the level of Wilson and Burmeister.
Jonsen, a four-star recruit in 2015, could certainly still make some noise. He went to Oregon rated as the No. 3-rated dual-threat quarterback in the nation in 2015.
Speaking of ratings, they often can be misleading. Keep in mind that Burmeister becomes the fifth four-star quarterback to commit to Oregon since 2008.
It all began well with Darron Thomas, who signed in 2008. He had a great career, passing for 66 touchdowns and leading the Ducks to two conference titles, a Rose Bowl victory and a berth into the national title game.
Bryan Bennett, signed in 2010, backed up Thomas before losing the starting job in 2012 to Marcus Mariota, a three-star recruit in 2011. Bennett went on to start at Southeastern Louisiana before ending up in training camp with the Indianapolis Colts.
Then things became dicey. Jake Rodrigues, the No. 5-rated pro-style quarterback in the nation, signed in 2012 and never panned out. Moran Mahalak, the No. 11-rated pro-style quarterback in 2014, never challenged for playing time before transferring to Towson last year. That brings us to Jonsen, who in 2015 was rated as the 10th best prospect in California and No. 49 in the nation, yet he sits behind two former three-star recruits in Herbert and Wilson.
Burmeister is rated as the 29th best player in California and 217th overall.
None of this, of course, means that Burmeister is doomed. But it does show that finding a star quarterback is often a crapshoot.
What we know for sure is that Oregon, baring unforeseen departures, will have four talented, young quarterbacks on the roster in 2017. And, that's always a good problem to have.