With everything going on in the world relating to the coronavirus pandemic and how it impacts the sports world, let’s put that on hold for just a moment and relish in what could be interesting news for the Oregon football program.
Head coach Mario Cristobal has been on a tear lately in terms of recruiting. The Ducks have the No. 1 recruiting class in the Pac-12 Conference and the No. 5 nationally for 2021.
But there is one player, who played for the Ducks for just one season, that looks to be eyeing a possible return to Eugene, Oregon.
Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.
What’s up coach @coach_cristobal , I’m trying to come finish my masters !! 🙏🏽🙏🏽 What’s the next steps I need to take?— Vernon Adams Jr. (@bigplay_va) July 13, 2020
[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].
The 5-foot-11 quarterback transferred to Oregon in 2015 after a successful tenure at Eastern Washington University leading the Eagles to a 28-6 record when Adams was the starter.
When Adams took over the reigns of the Oregon offense in 2015, he immediately fit right in with the up-tempo pace. Adams completed 168-of-259 passes (64.9%) for 2,643 yards, 26 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2015.
His lone season will go down as one of the bigger ‘what if’ seasons in Oregon football history.
NBC Sports Northwest’s Dylan Mickanen writes:
“The Ducks only lost two games with Adams starting this season, one of those was to soon-to-be College Football Playoff finalist Michigan State in East Lansing because Adams overthrew a wide-open Byron Marshall for a game-winning touchdown with 1:24 left. Except, Adams played that game with a broken pinky. A healthy Adams doesn't overthrow that pass and who knows, maybe he can keep Oregon in the game against Utah the next week.
“When a healthy Adams returned against Washington, Oregon wouldn't lose again, including an upset of then-No. 8 Stanford (38-36) and dismantling of then-No. 22 USC (48-28), until the Alamo Bowl where Adams got injured again with a 31-0 lead.
“Adams led the entire nation in yards per attempt with 10.2, which was higher than Mariota's Heisman season, and a passer rating of 179.09. SB Nation College Football Writer Bill Connely wrote that Adams would have been a Heisman finalist if he doesn't get hurt.”
Adams spent time in the CFL following his one season in Eugene, Oregon.
Adams doesn't have any collegiate eligibility remaining, however, he could come back as an analyst or something along those lines in Cristobal's staff. He does have a great football brain having mastered Helfrich's playbook in just a month after he transferred.
The future of the quarterback position at Oregon is already shaping up to be an interesting competition. When spring football concluded after just a handful of practices (cut short due to COVID-19), Cristobal announced it was Tyler Shough’s job to lose. However, Boston College transfer quarterback Anthony Brown, with his experience, sure makes things interesting along with freshmen Jay Butterfield already on campus as well as incoming 2021 quarterback Ty Thompson.
Maybe Adams can help guide the next guard of the quarterbacks in Eugene.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].