Vernon Adams

One of the most interesting things to follow in the upcoming college football season will be how the Oregon Ducks do in the post-Marcus Mariota era, and will Vernon Adams, the transfer quarterback out of Eastern Washington, be the one to replace him.

Adams has finally become eligible to play for the Ducks after passing a math exam that was the final hurdle for him before joining practice in fall camp for the first time. Adams should have been part of the June workouts as well, but his delay in his math class put him behind on all fronts.

So Adams arrived late and has missed a few fall practices as he tries to become the starting quarterback for a team famous for its complicated offense. Scott Frost, the offensive coordinator, has said Adams has been doing a good job of picking up the offense and what he’s missed so far.

There’s just so many little details to learn when you come in new. You learn those things over time. We’ll keep trying to force-feed him and jam as many things into his head as his head can hold. But sometimes there’s no substitute for experience and having seen some of the things we’re talking about. So it’s going to be a learning curve, but I’ve been impressed with how quick he has picked things up.

Adams had a great high school career but because teams feared his height (“only” 6 feet), he had no offers from FBS teams. He played in 2013 and 2014 for Eastern Washington, winning the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Year in 2013, being the runner-up to the Walter Payton award twice and making the First-Team FCS All-American last season.

If you didn’t guess by now, his idol is Russell Wilson, who is another quarterback many thought was too short to make it in college football and then the NFL. However, Adams does have to battle Jeff Lockie, Mariota’s backup and someone who knows the offense a little bit better, for the starting quarterback spot.

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