Waller breaks down season before UO visit

Anaheim (Calif.) Servite quarterback Travis Waller, an Oregon verbal commit, has helped the Friars to a 3-2 record against stiff competition this season. He shares his thoughts on his team and personal performance as they head into a bye week and what he expects to see on his official visit to Oregon this week.

No. 2 ranked Oregon has roped in its share of talent from the 2015 class, but one player who’s been monitored closer than others this season is Anaheim Servite quarterback Travis Waller.

A big reason for the hoopla surrounding the 6-foot-3, 195-pound four-star prospect is that he very well could be the eventual heir to the throne currently occupied by Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Mariota.

So far, Waller has led Servite to a 3-2 record in non-conference play, with both losses coming against national powers in De La Salle and Bishop Gorman (Nev.), the latter of which knocked off top-ranked St. John Bosco in a nationally televised game last week. In grading his team, he wasn't too harsh given the level of competition they've faced.

“I would give us a solid B," Waller said. "Mainly because of execution and starting off a little stronger and finishing in the red zone. Last year we had a big tendency of going into the red zone and not coming out with any points, but this year we’ve gone to the red zone and gotten some points. But when we didn’t get points, it was really needed, so that’s why I give the team a B.”

Waller attributed part of the early success to the amount of weapons the Friars possess on offense and his growth as a passer and reading defenses. He credited his quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, his position coach at Servite, Brian Schneider, and his time at Elite 11/The Opening over the summer for his success.

“It’s like night and day,” he said. ”The game is very slowed down. Where everybody thinks it’s fast-paced, it’s slowed down for me. The reads, I can pick off defenses left and right. I know when to hit the windows. That’s what I took from Elite 11.”

Through five games, Waller has accounted for nine passing touchdowns and five more on the ground. He posted a season high 327 yards passing and four touchdowns against Edison on Sep. 20.

With league play set to start, Waller will be tasked with leading the Friars against the likes of Orange Lutheran, Mater Dei, Santa Margarita, Bosco and Junipero Serra, teams that have combined for a 20-3 record so far this season. He believes the Friars are ready for the treacherous stretch run and hopes it leads to a chance to avenge one of their losses.

“Our main goal is we want a rematch against De La Salle at state,” he said. “So we have to win CIF first. Trinity League is a tough league. Every game is like a playoff in our league. Our first Trinity League game is against (Orange Lutheran) and I think what we’re going to do is take it week by week. We’re going to really focus in on them and really just try to make a statement.”

Currently on a bye week, Waller will travel to Eugene for his official visit on Wednesday and take in the Ducks game against Arizona on Thursday. He took an unofficial visit back in January, but this time he said he’s looking forward to getting the full experience.

"It’s just seeing it through the eyes of a player, watching the game, enjoying it, staying on the sideline, see how they do things," he said. "I think I’m going to be able to watch their practice before the game, so I think that’ll be cool to see how their practice is run. There’s just a lot of things I’m looking forward too.”

Waller also said he’s still an active recruiter for Oregon and has locked in on a couple of targets who plan on visiting Eugene in the near future.

"Kirk Merritt is the main target right now," he said. "I’m trying to get him and Jaylinn Hawkins who is a local friend of mine. Really those two are the ones I’m trying to get right now.”

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