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Insider

Oregon still looking for quarterback

7/10/2012

Most college programs make it a point to bring in at least one quarterback in every recruiting class due to the importance of the position. With Oregon's unique offense and the fact that the quarterbacks in Chip Kelly's system are in the open field more than most, the Ducks have always tried to follow this rule.

With a number of young signal callers on the roster, the Ducks are being even more selective than usual in issuing scholarship offers to quarterbacks in the class of 2013.

When Anthony Jennings (Marietta, Ga./Marietta) opted to commit to LSU in early June, the Ducks began looking at other quarterbacks that would be a good fit in Eugene. The next quarterback to earn an offer from the Oregon coaching staff was Johnny Stanton (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic).

Stanton received an offer from Oregon less than two weeks after Jennings chose LSU. After Stanton made his pledge to the Nebraska Cornhuskers earlier today, where do the Ducks look next?

The answer may be the class of 2014. With Bryan Bennett having three years of eligibility remaining, he is the veteran of the Oregon quarterback group.

Marcus Mariota is a redshirt freshman that is in the midst of a battle with Bennett to be the Ducks starter in 2012.

Joining Mariota on the Ducks roster with four full years of eligibility are two incoming freshman. Jake Rodrigues and Jeff Lockie will be on the roster this fall. Rodrigues arrived in Eugene this spring and worked to rehab from a broken fibula and dislocated ankle he suffered in high school.

Lockie doesn't have the hype that Rodrigues does coming in. but Lockie was the MVP in one of the toughest leagues in Northern California. The league included Wisconsin freshman Bart Houston, Cal freshman Zach Kline and current USC commit Michael Hutchings, in addition to a number of other BCS school signees.

With a logjam of young talent separated by no more than two years, the 2013 class may turn into a rare case of a Chip Kelly recruiting class with no quarterback.

The Oregon staff is certain to continue evaluating quarterbacks and may still have an offer or two to give out if the right prospect arises.

With playing time looking sparse in the coming years, the top quarterback prospects in the class of 2014 may be getting early attention from Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.