Mario Cristobal has consistently recruited players who don’t shy away from competition.
You have to earn your place and beat out the guys ahead of you, just like former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert did in 2016. Herbert was far into the depth chart as a freshman behind grad transfer Dakota Prukop, Travis Jonsen (who went on to be a receiver at Montana State), and Terry Wilson (the current quarterback of the Kentucky Wildcats).
It’s pretty rare in college football these days to see a quarterback start for his team for all four years, but Herbert was indeed unlike any other.
Now, it’s time for a new quarterback to take the reigns and that competition is heating up in Eugene, Oregon.
Sophomore Tyler Shough has sat behind Herbert for the past two seasons. As Cristobal has stated before, “It’s Tyler’s job to lose” right now and he is currently getting a majority of the reps with the ones. Then you have Boston College grad transfer Anthony Brown, who committed to Oregon back in April and brings something to the table that Shough barely has: experience.
On Wednesday, both Shough and Brown met with the media following practice to give a little more insight into this competition on the field and their friendship off it.
“It’s honestly been the best thing for me and the quarterbacks,” said Shough on Brown. “He brings a level of maturity because he’s an older guy and he has a good understanding of football. He’s a great guy, great friend, great teammate and overall just a great addition to the team.
A quick rundown of each quarterback:
Tyler Shough - Sophomore; 6’5”, 221 pounds; redshirted his first year in the program; last season completed 12-of-15 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns in five games played.
Anthony Brown - Senior; 6’2”, 226 pounds; as a junior at Boston College, threw for 1,250 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions through six games before a season-ending leg injury.
One brings experience within the Oregon playbook and one brings experience for multiple 60-minute games. But make no mistake, the two together are making each other better.
“We just build from one another,” said Brown of Shough. “He’s really talented and he’s really smart. The only thing he’s missing is experience which is fine. A lot of people lack experience and still do their thing, which is a good thing.
Will Shough, who has been Herbert’s shadow for the past two seasons, step into that starting role when Ducks host the Stanford Cardinal to open up the Pac-12 season? Or will Brown’s collegiate experience be the difference maker for him to notch that starting role?
Two and half weeks until the seasons begins.
Listen to the Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here.