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2019 Oregon Ducks Spring Practice Preview (Quarterback)

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NCAA Football: Redbox Bowl-Michigan State vs Oregon Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks will begin spring practice in short order with the Spring Game coming on April 20th. How will the Ducks shake out on the depth chart during spring camp? Will there be any impact freshmen looking to take jobs from the upperclassmen? We begin this exercise by looking at the most stable position on the team: Quarterback

2018 Depth Chart

1. Justin Herbert 6’6 240 Junior

2. Braxton Burmeister 6’1 207 Sophomore

3. Tyler Shough 6’5 204 Freshman

4. Mike Irwin 6’1 201 RS Freshman

5. Bradley Yaffe 6’3 202 Freshman

Analysis

  • Herbert started every game during the 2018 season. It was his first complete season as the starter after missing time during his freshman and sophomore campaigns due to injury. He posted a stat line of 240/404 (59.4%). 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions as a junior.
  • Braxton Burmeister appeared in four total contests, posting a line of 5/10 for 43 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. His biggest game time came in relief of an injured Herbert during the most recent Civil War, logging the majority of the snaps in the second half, otherwise it was garbage time for him.
  • Highly touted true freshman Tyler Shough appeared in three games, preserving his redshirt. He got excellent in game handoff practice reps during his brief cameo role in 2018 as he did not attempt a single pass outside of pregame warm-ups.
  • Irwin and Yaffe were camp arms mostly to preserve Herbert on a pitch count during practices as they ran the scout teams.

2019 Depth Chart (Pre-Spring)

1. Justin Herbert Senior

2. Tyler Shough RS Freshman

3. Cale Millen Freshman

What happened during the offseason and what can we expect?

  • Herbert turned down being the potential number one overall pick in the 2019 draft and returned for his senior season. Nothing new to see here, folks.
  • JH’s goal for spring practice to stay healthy and learn that other receivers actually exist on the roster to build a rapport with. It will be an interesting development to watch if he does do that.
  • Braxton Burmeister elected to go into the transfer portal in January and as of press time, he has not found a new home yet. As for his time at Oregon, it has been well documented that he clearly wasn’t the answer but wasn’t given much help either. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • Tyler Shough is the presumptive backup by default and heir apparent to Herbert in 2020 due to Burmeister leaving the program. He will need to expand upon his game as a redshirt freshman in order to be ready should the unthinkable happen. Reportedly, he was great during the fall as the third quarterback. Shough will need to live up to his high pedigree as the former top ranked recruit from the state of Arizona.
  • Newcomer Cale Millen is an early enrollee so he should get a lot of valuable reps to wrest away the backup job from Shough if he can. Herbert being what he is (the unquestioned starter) should allow for a healthy competition between the two potential heirs. Added bonus: He spurned the purple clad school to the North even though his father is a legend there. Definitely not an OKG in Seattle.
  • Shough really benefited from a RS year and got some live fire reps (even if they were handoffs, they still count) in the fall. He has 0 pressure except being ready to step in given Herbert’s medical history. I think the gameplan for Millen is that he follows the Shough model from last season.

Post Spring Prediction

1. Future New York Giant / Miami Dolphin Justin Herbert

2. Shough

3. Millen

4. Yaffe / Demetri Burch / Verdell’s Vroom Vroom Offense / A Dye in the Cast(run)away