Rolling along beneath the surface of Oregon's quarterback competition is freshman Justin Herbert.
He has virtually no chance of playing this season and will likely redshirt. But that doesn't mean the 6-foot-6, three-star recruit out of Sheldon High School isn't making noise.
"He really has exceeded all expectations," Oregon quarterback coach David Yost said.
As with all first-year Oregon players, Herbert is not permitted to speak with the media until after the first game of the season. But Yost had plenty to say about his young pupil starting with pointing out how much Herbert did over the summer to prepare for fall camp in terms of learning the offense.
That show of commitment has impressed, especially given that Herbert has little chance of playing right away.
Senior transfer Dakota Prukop is beating out redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen for the starting job. A formal announcement on the starter could come as soon as Thursday with the season opener looming Sept. 3 at home against UC Davis.
Fellow true freshman, Terry Wilson Jr., who arrived on campus in time for spring drills, will likely redshirt along with Herbert unless Prukop and Jonsen were to go down.
Jonsen, it's assumed, will be the backup while Wilson, who flashed considerable talent during spring, and Herbert compete for third-string. Or, could Herbert be in competition for a larger role?
"He is in the regular rotation right now and he's getting as many reps as all the other guys," Yost said. "I think he's definitely in competition for a spot to where he is traveling and he could be more than just a No. 3 guy."
Yost said that Herbert is easy going guy who picks up details within the offense well and has a quick release.
"It's been really fun to work with," Yost said. "And he has a really natural feel for where to go with the ball through the progressions without having to sit there and over analyze it and over think about it."
But that was before the coaching staff began inputting more elements from the playbook. That, Yost said, slowed down Herbert's progression a bit and now he is playing catchup. His lack of experience within the offense, talent or not, will likely keep Herbert from challenging Jonsen for No. 2.
Athleticism won't. Herbert, despite his height, can scoot.
"He's got more athleticism more quickness and more foot speed than he'll probably get credit for because of his size," Yost said.
The downside to Herbert looking so sharp is that the Ducks are almost assured of having one of their three freshmen quarterbacks leave the program within the next 18 months.
Jonsen, Wilson and Herbert will compete for the starting job next year with one year separating Jonsen from the other two, assuming both redshirt.
If Jonsen is the starter of the future, there is no way both Herbert and Wilson remain with one serving as the No. 3 with Jonsen having three years of eligibility remaining.
Should Wilson or Herbert end up the starter next season, Jonsen would surely move on.
This situation, of course, is a good problem for Oregon to have moving forward. It's certainly better to have too many potential star quarterbacks than be forced to dip into the Big Sky talent pool in order to makeup for having a lack of elite talent at quarterback.