Jeremiah Masoli will be the unquestioned leader of Oregon's offense this fall. As Masoli exhibited command of the Duck offense last year, two teammates transferred to other schools. Masoli, who says he was "embarrassed to lose to Boise State last year", is ready for the Broncos this fall.
You have to go back to 2005, before Kellen Clemens senior season, to find
when the Ducks felt this confident about their quarterback situation.
Going into this season, Athlon Sports ranks the
quarterbacking unit the fourth best in the nation, putting Jeremiah Masoli and company right
behind Heisman Trophy finalist Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.
Anyone who watched the last three games knows exactly why. Jeremiah
Masoli made opponents dizzy trying to stop him. If he wasn't running
the zone read to perfection, he was hitting his receivers in stride for
Masoli, the 5'11", 214 pound junior from
passed for 1,744 yards with 13 touchdowns (five interceptions) after
from City College of San Francisco right before fall camp. Injuries to Nate Costa and Justin Roper
coaching staff to use Jeremiah in last years season opening win over
When Justin Roper hurt his knee in overtime in the week three win over
Purdue, Masoli was named the starting quarterback. Unfortunately, Jeremiah
also was hurt in the first quarter of the
the coaches to rely on true freshmen Chris Harper and Darron Thomas for the
remainder of the game, which
ultimately lost 37-32.
Masoli started the remaining nine games for the Ducks in 2008, showing
remarkable improvement and potential. Enough so that
finished the season 10-3 and ranked in the top 10 of both polls. Masoli's
grasp of the starting position going into this season prompted Justin Roper to
. Chris Harper recognized that he wasn't ever going to be a starting
quarterback for the Ducks, so he too decided to transfer (back home to
Where as Dennis Dixon ran the read-option with speed and elusiveness,
Masoli showed that he wasn't afraid of contact and often punished defensive
backs who tried to tackle him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eauRx_BjTFA.
Masoli finished the 2008 season with a remarkable 718 yards rushing (5.7
yard avg.) and 10 touchdowns.
Backing up Masoli this season will be junior Nate Costa. Costa, the
6'1", 215 pounder from
has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. Costa, who was slated
to start last year before tearing his
during the final week of fall practice, has shown that he has the physical
skills to effectively run the spread offense. As the veteran of the
unit, he also has the confidence of his teammates.
would love to redshirt Darron Thomas this season. The 6'3", 200
pound sophomore from
looked brilliant in limited action last season. While the comparisons to
Dennis Dixon may be premature, Thomas has shown that he has all of the tools and
is a perfect match for the Ducks' spread attack.
With the transfers of Roper and Harper, true freshman Daryl Hawkins will be
the emergency quarterback in 2010. The 6'4", 190 pounder from
was signed this February as an "athlete." Injuries
cut short his senior season, allowing him to slide under the radar of many
recruiting services and head coaches. Given that
has been forced to use five quarterbacks each of the last two seasons, one
cannot assume that Hawkins will automatically redshirt.