Recently Duck fans have had good reason to be leery of in-house quarterback development. I won’t recap our travails with backup QBs or the various reasons for them here, but let’s just say it’s been painful at times. You know what I’m talking about.
So with that in mind let’s take a look at new QB commit Cale Millen, a 3* recruit out of Mount Si Washington, who we hope will help reverse this trend. Back in May he committed during his Oregon visit and then sealed the deal in a raw egg-drinking ceremony with Coach Cristobal:
He gets docked a few style points for holding his nose, but kid’s young, he’ll learn.
Arizona State, Northwestern, Oregon.
Cale also had been in contact with USC & Notre Dame, but officially went with the Ducks before those (purely hypothetical) offers materialized. Worth noting that he was verbally committed to Northwestern, but re-opened his recruitment after the Oregon offer.
He’s expected to enroll early and participate in 2019 spring practices.
As A Prospect
Cale was considered a rising recruit in scouting circles – he had flown under the radar early (partly due to the level of competition he’s faced in high school), but began to generate quite a bit of interest this spring before Oregon brought him into the flock.
At 6’4” and 190lbs, he’s got prototypical QB size. Accurate, decisive passer with above average mobility. Take a gander at his junior year highlight video:
Obviously we take these clips with a grain of salt, but one thing that stood out to me is how often he was on the move – both on designed rollouts and when protection broke down on its own. He effectively evaded pressure and made accurate throws under duress. On the plays where he remained in the pocket he demonstrated decent downfield passing ability.
Overall he fits the mold of recent successful Oregon QBs. The skillsets of both Millen & fellow recruit Tyler Shough give a small glimpse into the new coaching staff’s vision for our offense - seems pretty safe to assume we’ll still be employing a spread attack centered around a mobile QB.
Although Shough was the more sought-after prospect by a decent margin (over 20 offers including Bama, FSU, Michigan, etc), Millen will absolutely have the opportunity to compete for a starting job.
Son Of A Fusky
Adding a little extra twist to his background, Cale is the son of former UW and NFL QB Hugh Millen.
Although mostly a journeyman during his NFL career, Hugh is fondly remembered by the Fuskies for his comeback win in the 1985 Orange Bowl vs Oklahoma (classic meteor game) and an ultimate #2 national ranking.
Cale wasn’t offered by Washington, who if anything are overstocked at the QB position right now. So now he finds himself playing for his father’s arguably most hated rival. To be fair, during Millen’s playing days Oregon was in the midst of The Suffering and probably more of an afterthought. Hugh went 2-0 as a starter against the Ducks, although in both games our defense kept him under wraps - in ‘84 he threw for a Locker-esque 36 yards and a pick while playing all 4 quarters.
Hugh now works as a football analyst on both radio & television in the Seattle area and is still an outspoken UW backer. IMO it’s a testament to Cristobal & Co’s ability to communicate & connect with recruits that we were able to bring a longtime Washington family on-board. As Cale said:
”We were in coach Cristobal’s office, and we were in there with coach Arroyo and I basically just told them that my family and I have immense trust in this organization, and feel this is the best decision for me. I told them I’m committed to Oregon football and I’m ready to go play.”
Over the next several years he’ll have the somewhat Jungian task of either beating his dad’s team and establishing his own legacy, or failing to and remaining forever inadequate, Jakob Dylan-style.
Good luck Cale, no pressure at all! Also, Huck the Fuskies.