- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Oregon will likely never be confused for one of the nation's recruiting hotbeds, but each year it produces several impact players and dozens of FBS performers. In the 2014 recruiting class, a name to keep in mind will be quarterback Scott Hitner (Cottage Grove, Ore./Cottage Grove).
Aside from a season-opening loss, Hitner led an explosive offense to at least 27 points in every game this season and topped the 50-point mark on five occasions. In the regular season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback threw for 2,989 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 60 percent of his passes, and rushed for 156 yards and 15 scores.
Those numbers are made all the more impressive by the fact that Hitner didn't begin playing quarterback until high school and this was only his second year playing the position full time. Hitner was injured his freshman year and transferred to Cottage Grove before his sophomore season. It was during that offseason that he got serious about playing quarterback.
"I'd previously played along the line," he said. "But when I started playing quarterback, I went to a few combines and started to really like it. I set my mind toward that and made it my goal."
Hitner is a three-sport athlete who competes in basketball and track as well, and while he's always wanted to play for Hawaii or Oregon State, it might not be the athletic department that weighs most heavily in his college decision.
"They have really good marine biology programs," he said. "That's what I want to major in."
The recruiting process hasn't kicked off yet for Hitner, but he plans to put himself through the camp circuit this spring and summer. He is proficient running the spread offense that he operates at Cottage Grove, but spent his freshman year running the Wing-T, which left him comfortable taking snaps under center, so Hitner said he feels comfortable in either situation.
2dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney