Ducks:Help Wanted Sign for Quarterback

EUGENE, ORE. – Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost knows that there some holes to fill, but doesn't seem particularly worried as the Oregon coaching staff has a lot to work with in order to get the job done. Yet coaches are never satisfied and that Jeff Lockie needs to continue what he’s doing.

“It’s a new day in Oregon football,” said offensive coordinator Scott Frost of the quarterback position. “Obviously weave got a couple guys with a bunch of experience that are pretty sharp and know what they are doing and then it’s pretty much a learning process for the three younger guys.”

While not all the potential candidates for the starting role is yet on campus, the one notable exception being a soon-to-be graduate of Eastern Washington University, Vernon Adams, who will use his final year of college eligibility as a graduate student at Oregon and member of the Duck football team. However, on Tuesday, the second day of Oregon’s spring football season, the topic was not on Adams, but rather the remaining five quarterback candidates for the job currently working out in the spring sessions.

The prime candidate among those five other nominees is junior Jeff Lockie, who spent the last two seasons backing up Oregon’s only Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota. With Mariota now waiting for the NFL draft, Lockie is now involved in a competition for the job.

“I’m really comfortable with Jeff,” Frost said of Lockie. “I trust him, I know he knows what to do. To some degree he’s been in games (where) we’ve been in clean-up mode, so he hasn't got to run our offense a whole lot.”

Lockie is has completed 34 passes in his college career for 227 yards and a touchdown. Those aren't staggering numbers over the course of two years, but there are some mitigating circumstances behind those statistics. First of all because Lockie was backing up Mariota, that meant he wouldn't see the field until Mariota had put the game out of reach for the other side or Mariota had been carried off the field. Only once did the latter happen and that was in the National Championship in which Mariota returned after Lockie had attempted one pass.

The primary reason, as Frost pointed out of course that Lockie didn' have a lot of passing numbers was that by the time he got in the game, the Ducks already held a double-digit lead. To have Lockie slinging the ball around wouldn't have shown much class on the Oregon coaching staff’s part. So, that meant Lockie most handed the ball off – often to the fourth or fifth string running back.

“I've been through (figuratively) hundreds of practices and thousands of reps,” said Lockie of his experience level. “I know the public has only seen a small amount, but that’s the way it goes and we’ll see if that changes.”

Practice snaps of course are crucial but Frost reflected the never-having-enough coaching side of his personality by saying that practice snaps are one thing but game snaps are another.

“We really want him to treat his practice reps as game reps.” commented Frost. “Go full speed and be dynamic (and) he’s shown some flashes of doing really well already.”

So what’s the solution then for Lockie? Just remain being himself and keep doing what he’s doing.

“The thing Jeff is doing really well now is he’s being very dynamic,” observed Frost of Lockie. “When he’s running the football he’s running with purpose.”

Lockie is a native of Alamo, Calif. (Monte Vista HS) threw for more than 5,000 yards in his two years as a high school starter and over 500 yards rushing.

Oregon finished its second day of spring practice on Wednesday but won’t be back on the field until Friday. The Ducks will practice three times a week until May 4, when the annual spring game will be held at Autzen Stadium.

Scott Frost complete interview

Jeff Lockie complete interview

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