Travis Jonsen is working hard to be a better player

When he came out of high school, Travis Jonsen (then Travis Waller) was a raw talent but still a 4-star Elite 11 quarterback. Last year during spring workouts, it appeared Jonsen was on tap to be the back up to quarterback Dakota Prukop and in fact had a decent spring game in which he complete 15-of-24 passes for 188 yards and touchdown. Then something went wrong.

During fall camp of the 2016 season, Jonsen plummeted on the depth chart, particularly when Justin Herbert arrived on campus. Herbert took over the back up spot and there was never any real explanation of why Jonsen was dropped like a hot potato in the process. 

Jonsen has never offered any excuses and when asked last fall camp why he was being considered for more playing time, he simply told The Portland Tribune, that he hadn't "done enough in practice" to warrant being in the 2-deep roster. Prukop's plight is well recorded and the accomplishments of Herbert are as equally well documented, but still the question remains, what exactly went wrong for Jonsen?

Last season of course, as had been the case for the last six years, media was not allowed into practices to see for themselves why Jonsen had gone from the back up to not being included on the travel roster -- essentially the fifth string quarterback.

Was it a communication problem with the former coaching staff? Was it a problem with his arm? Did he have an attitude problem?

None of those questions have ever been answered and now it really means little as there is a whole new opportunity for the very friendly and open Jonsen. He is in competition for playing time. Does it matter to him if Herbert has an substantial advantage of having playing time? Not really, at least Jonsen is learned some lessons and is not the same player as "little Travis" as he described himself as the freshman who enrolled in the spring 2015.

Jonson is working hard along with his teammates and now with fans and media being able to watch some of the practices, there might be a little more understanding of where Jonsen fits into the scheme of things with the Oregon Ducks.

On Saturday, April 15, the Ducks will hold a controlled situational scrimmage at Jesuit High School, and perhaps there will be opportunities to see the progression Jonsen has made.

Start time for the Saturday practice is 2:30 p.m.


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