Damion Hobbs

Next Duck Up: Who gets Oregon starting job left by Marcus Mariota?

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With news that Marcus Mariota is entering the 2015 NFL Draft, it is already time to shift ahead to see who will be leading the Oregon offense on the field in 2015. The job of filling the shoes of Mariota will be no easy task, but somebody has to do it. Barring the transfer of a player like Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, there are a couple options to watch during Oregon’s spring practices.

Jeff Lockie appears to be the frontrunner as things stand just by looking at the depth chart for the Ducks. Lockie made a brief appearance on the field in place of Mariota during the College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State, after Mariota was taken to the ground by Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa. Lockie, a former three-star recruit according to Rivals, is currently a redshirt sophomore, and is currently the most veteran of Oregon’s young quarterback stable. Lockie joined the Oregon program in the same recruiting class that landed four-star quarterback Jake Rodrigues to Oregon under former head coach Chip Kelly. Rodriguez eventually landed at San Diego State as things did not work out with the Oregon program. Rodrigue transferred to San Diego State prior to the 2014 season and will be eligible to play this fall.

Oregon’s other quarterbacks on the roster today are all freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Eugene native Taylor Alie and California product Ty Griffin are each redshirt freshmen, but neither are expected to make a serious run for the starting job this spring. Alie held a job as Oregon’s scout team quarterback in 2013. Both entered the same recruiting class as Damion Hobbs, a three-star recruit from Texas that has already transferred to Utah State.

True freshman Morgan Mahalak may have the most potential to replace Mariota in the fall. The former four-star recruit from California did play for Oregon this season but is used to waiting for his opportunity. He did so in high school before excelling to be one of the top passers in California. He was the only quarterback added to the Oregon roster in last year’s recruiting class, and now could be his time. The pro-style quarterback was the 11th-ranked pro-style QB in last year’s class according to Rivals could easily benefit from a strong showing in the spring as head coach Mark Helfrich attempts to settle on his next starting quarterback.Oregon also has four-star quarterback

As the spring opens up, the starting job could come down to Lockie and Mahalak. Oregon also has four-star quarterback Travis Waller lined up for the Class of 2015 (already has signed a letter of intent). As things stand now, there are no other quarterbacks in Oregon’s Class of 2015.

Yet another Duck leaving Eugene

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For the sixth time the past three months, a playing member of the Oregon football program has decided to fly the Ducks coop.

The latest to leave Eugene is Oshay Dunmore, who 247Sports.com reports is transferring out to an undetermined location. No reason for the decision to move on from the Ducks was given, and UO, for what’s it’s worth, has yet to confirm the departure.

Dunmore was a three-star member of Oregon’s 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Oregon. After redshirting as a true freshman, Dunmore played in 10 games in 2013.

Also joining Dunmore on the UO transfer train are linebacker Tyrell Robinson and defensive back Eric Amoako this month; quarterbacks Damion Hobbs and Jake Rodrigues last month; and wide receiver Tony Dungy in March.

Hobbs (Utah State), Rodrigues (San Diego State) and Dungy (USF) have all since found new football homes.