Feature Spotlight: Justin Herbert
Pos: QB H: 6’6” W: 237
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon (Sheldon HS)
Last on the player feature list, but certainly not least, senior quarterback, Justin Herbert. He has his sights set on a conference championship and potentially a national one as well in 2019. That is, before entering the NFL draft as the potential No. 1 overall pick. So just who is the Pac-12 All-American quarterback?
Born-and-raised in Eugene, Oregon, Herbert played football for Sheldon High School. As quarterback for the Fighting Irish, Herbert was highly under-recruited as a consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Before Oregon came along, no Power Five school showed interest in offering him a scholarship. Recruited by Scott Frost, Oregon was the only top program that believed in the 659th nationally ranked player; and well, their bet paid off.
Herbert became the first true freshman to start at quarterback since 1983 after replacing Dakota Prukop mid-way through the 2016 season. He made seven starts the rest of the way and finished as one of four FBS quarterbacks with 15 or more touchdowns and five or less interceptions.
Through his time at Oregon, Herbert has matured into arguably the top quarterback prospect in the nation as a frontrunners on the Davey O’Brien watch list. Herbert’s not only blessed with unbelievable talent on the field, but beyond the locker room, the senior enters his final season with an incredible 4.01 GPA, per Yahoo Sport’s Pete Thamel. He not only drops dimes, but he drops lessons as well; excelling as a biology major, balancing both school and athletics.
Justin Herbert has a 4.01 GPA in Biology and worked as an incognito TA in the major's most difficult course. A look at the off-field pull that help keep the potential No. 1 NFL draft pick in Eugene for one more year of @oregonfootball. https://t.co/XmiS6n2K4n pic.twitter.com/AjNsZ4dWJI— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 20, 2019
(2016) GP: 9 - CMP: 162 - ATT: 255 - CMP %: .64 - YDS: 1936 - TD: 19 - INT: 4 - LNG: 72 - AVG/P: 7.6 - AVG/G: 215.1
(2017) GP: 8 - CMP: 139 - ATT: 206 - CMP %: .67 - YDS: 1983 - TD: 15 - INT: 5 - LNG: 67 - AVG/P: 9.6 - AVG/G: 247.9
(2018) GP: 13 - CMP: 240 - ATT: 404 - CMP %: .59 - YDS: 3151 - TD: 29 - INT: 8 - LNG: 83 - AVG/P: 7.8 - AVG/G: 242.4
(Total) GP: 30 - CMP: 541 - ATT: 865 - CMP %: .63 - YDS: 7070 - TD: 63 - INT: 17 - LNG: 83 - AVG/P: 8.2 - AVG/G: 235.7
- Pac-12 offensive Player of the Week (Week 9)
- Manning Award Quarterback of the Week (Week 9)
- Manning Award “Star of the Week” (Week 9 & 12)
- Davey O’Brien “Great 8” (Week 9)
- 247Sports Freshman of the Week (Week 9)
- CoSIDA Academic All-American first team
- CoSIDA Academic All-District 8
- Pac-12 All-Academic first team
- PFF All-Pac-12 first team
- Two-Time PFF Pac-12 Team of the Week (Week 1 & 4)
- Davey O’brien “Great 8”
- Google Cloud Academic All-American Team Member of the Year
- Google Cloud Academic All-American first team
- Pac-12 All-American first team
- Phill Steele Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention
- Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention
- Three-time PFF Pac-12 Team of the Week (Week 1, 4, & 5)
- Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist
- Maxwell Award semifinalist
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award List (final 15)
(2016) Week 8: W 54-35
Going way back into the archives and digging up this gem of a performance. Perhaps the game that officially put Herbert on the map in 2016. Week 8, the freshman torched the Arizona State Sun Devils for 489 yards and four touchdowns through the air. The most impressive part of his breakout performance was his ability to make throws under duress. Taking four sacks, somehow Herbert was able to complete 73.4% of his passes, while facing a relentless pass rush from the Sun Devils. Herbert’s four touchdown game was highlighted by a 72-yard screen pass that Pharaoh Brown took to the house to begin the game.
From season to season the three-star quarterback has done an incredible job of consistently improving his talents. As a freshman we saw flashes of what Herbert can bring to the table. However, like with every young, developing quarterback, finding consistency in their play is the name of the game.
Ranked as just the 25th pro-style quarterback in 247Sports 2016 recruiting class, Herbert would tend to rely on his legs instead of his arm, i.e., the five rushing touchdowns his sophomore season. As Herbert matured as a quarterback, there was a considerable difference in his ability to stay in the pocket and deliver a clean ball under pressure. The 2017 Herbert would have been more inclined to “tuck it and run”, but as a junior Herbert’s improved his pocket presence considerably.
While the numbers from 2017-2018 might not show it, Herbert has become an even more accurate passer. The consistency he was searching for as a freshman had been found. Unfortunately the Ducks wide receivers couldn’t stop munching on popcorn.. all season. according to Ducks Territory’s Erik Skopil, Oregon dropped 52 balls in 2018, costing them 832 yards from the line of scrimmage.
It’s 2019 and there aren’t a lot of holes you can poke in Herbert’s game. If the wide receiving core can clean up the drops, Herbert and the Ducks have a real shot at a playoff birth. Oregon’s chips are all-in on the senior quarterback to take them to a Pac-12 championship; and with just 10 days till football, Ducks fans, and your’s included, are beginning to feel a little impatient.