It seems clearer than ever that Anthony Brown will start this upcoming season after taking all the reps with the ones during spring ball.
Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal said last week Brown's "experience and what he has done in practice has made him a leader for this position... He is the starter going into the fall."
During Media Day in Eugene Tuesday afternoon, he reiterated that. From all accounts, the starting quarterback will not be named until further into fall camp, giving the freshman trio a fair chance, but it's Anthony Brown's job to lose, partially due to the belief within the locker room in the Boston College transfer.
"Just playing with him in spring ball and working out with him, he’s a great quarterback and he’s a great person outside of that so I have all my trust in him," said freshman receiver Dont'e Thornton. " I feel like we’re going to do real good this year."
The way Brown carries himself off the field was brought up by Duck after Duck after Duck for why the team has such faith in the soon-to-be Oregon starting quarterback.
"He’s just a really good leader," added Jay Butterfield who joins Brown in the quarterback room. "He has the experience after being at Boston College for a couple years. People just trust him because he’s a great leader, vocal leader. Great guy."
You will not find a more vocal supporter in Anthony Brown than freshman Robby Ashford, however, regardless of Cristobal saying the quarterback competition is open.
"AB is definitely our QB1 and he’s earned that," said Ashford. "I have no problem being under a guy like that just because of everything he’s been through, everything he’s earned.
"AB has helped me more than anybody… He’s a brother, I wouldn’t trade our relationship for the world."
When the four-star recruit enrolled in Eugene last year, Ashford said he and Brown immediately formed a bond where the Boston College transfer helped him adjust to life as a college quarterback.
"Me and him got really tight," explained Ashford.
"Always watching film together because last year was really like my redshirt year so it was a really great learning year and coming into this year, we really dedicated ourselves to being on our grind. Us forming that brotherhood and just knowing we got each other’s backs, how much he’s taught me.
"It’s crazy because all the stuff he’s taught me is stuff I never thought I would’ve learned or even knew about that he knows because he started like 28 games too. So it’s not like he’s a newbie at this, he knows what he’s doing. So to able to be under a guy who knows what he’s doing and to be able to learn from him has been great."
Butterfield also complimented Brown's leadership and mentorship of the younger gunslingers.
"He’s definitely not someone who thinks he’s better than everyone and not a cocky guy at all. He’s someone who tries to help us out in any way possible and it’s been great working with him."
Ducks fans really only saw Brown play in limited snaps during the Pac-12 Championship Game, run a few series during the Fiesta Bowl and a decent day during the Spring Game. He played well, but nothing show-stopping which makes sense given he joined the program during a pandemic.
Now, with Joe Moorhead able to fully install his playbook, the Pac-12 better watch out. Not only is Brown ready to lead the Ducks, but the Oregon players also have full confidence Brown can win them games, a factor that may have been missing while Tyler Shough threw balls into the hands of standstill linebackers last season.
Anyone clamoring for a freshman to start over Brown, the team hears you and does not agree at this time.
"To see all the hate [Brown] gets and everything, we kind of love seeing it because I just know how he is and we know he’s going to come this year and I know it’s going to be special with him behind center," said Ashford.
"So it’s never a worry with him, you’re pumped up seeing one-three going in there."
Ashford later said his teammates want to play for Brown due to his excellent off-the-field behavior.
"He just brings a different energy to the team, it’s crazy and he makes everyone on the team just want to be better. Just want to play for him.
"He’s always [upbeat], smile on his face, it makes our practices, meeting room, quarterback room 10x better. You can just see it rub off on our team when we have our great practices, you can thank one-three for that. I wouldn’t trade this for the world."
With a few weeks until the season opener, Ducks fans will not have to wait too much longer.
"I can’t wait to see what he does. I can’t wait for the country to see what he does because he’s going to wake a lot of people up," concluded Ashford.
Neither can we, Robby.