Oregon Ducks' future at QB remains solid despite departure of Rodrigues, Hobbs

Oregon Ducks' future at QB remains solid despite departure of Rodrigues, Hobbs
May 19, 2014, 11:45 am
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Helfrich talks depth charts

Oregon Ducks quarterback Jeff Lockie (17) throws the ball in the first half at Autzen Stadium.

(Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)

Oregon quarterbacks are dropping like flies.

Fortunately for the team, none are named Marcus Mariota, and it's not like in 2007 when they went down on the field.

Instead, they are departing from the program fully healthy.

First Jake Rodrigues and now, reportedly, Damion Hobbs, have elected to transfer.

Not a big deal for Oregon, really. It was bound to happen.

This is the position where one guy carries the weight while the backup carries a clipboard.

Dennis Dixon chased off Johnny DuRocher in 2004. Nate Costa sent Justin Roper packing. Mariota forced out Bryan Bennett.

And so it goes.

Now, Jeff Lockie has won the backup job, resulting in Rodrigues seeking to transfer. Both came to Oregon in 2012.

Hobbs, a three-star recruit in 2013, is looking at a situation where best case scenario is that he could take over as the starter in 2017 as a fifth-year senior after Lockie has run the show in 2015 and 2016.

That is, unless in-coming freshman, four-star recruit Morgan Mahalak, didn't beat out both of them, or at least Hobbs for the backup job and future starter's role.

Now the Oregon QB situation lines up perfectly.

Mariota, who will enter the NFL Draft next year, starts this fall with Lockie as the backup.

Lockie starts in 2015 and 2016. Mahalak redshirts in 2014 and then is in line to start two years in 2017 and 2018.

Of course, the odds of this all working out exactly like that aren't very good. These things rarely go that cleanly.

But no blame to Rodrigues or Hobbs. Again, you either start or you sit.

Kenjon Barner sat behind LaMichael James before starting one year but still ended his career as the program's second all-time leading rusher (behind James) because he gained a ton of yards as a backup.

Rarely can you say that a backup quarterback was able to put up such numbers.

Rodrigues and Hobbs didn't come to Oregon to sit the bench. They came to play. No sense in wasting their college eligibility holding a clipboard if other opportunities await.

Wish them luck as they seek a place where they can display their talents.

Oregon most certainly will sign two quarterbacks next recruiting cycle in order to reach four on scholarship for the 2015 season. That is, unless, walk-on Taylor Alie earns a scholarship.

If UO does bring in two scholarship quarterbacks next winter, expect one to transfer within two years. Maybe one will force out Mahalak. Maybe Lockie is beaten out by Mahalak and seeks to transfer.

It's just how things go at this level of football where the competition for the most important position is always going to be stiff.