Oregon has produced many elite QB's in the BCS Era. How do they stack up with one another?
Photo: Oregon Athletics
Article by Nick Battey
1. Marcus Mariota
There's no competition for the top spot as Mariota is the only Heisman Trophy winner in Oregon’s history. The electric QB led Oregon both on and off the field and finished his career with Fiesta and Rose Bowl wins on his resume along with a National Championship game appearance. No one can argue the greatness he brought to Oregon Football going 36-5 during his tenure as the starting QB. Mariota's college career concluded with 105 touchdown passes, a 171.8 QB rating and 2,237 career rushing yards.
2. Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert came to Oregon as a hometown product from Eugene and despite multiple coaching changes, Herbert led the Ducks back to the Rose Bowl during his Senior season where he took down Wisconsin in a 28-27 win. Herbert racked up big time stats with the Ducks and finished his career with 95 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions and 560 rushing yards. Herbert is now in the NFL and had arguably the best Rookie season from a QB ever when he posted 31 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.
3. Joey Harrington
Joey Harrington was the first Oregon QB to win 10+ games and he did it twice. The Portland Native stayed home to play for the Ducks and put them on the map after going 22-3 in 2000 and 2001. Harrington led Oregon to many comeback wins over his starting tenure and concluded his career by winning the Fiesta Bowl 38-16 against Colorado and finishing 2nd in the country. Harrington went on to be selected 3rd overall in the NFL Draft.
4. Dennis Dixon
Dennis Dixon does not get enough credit for what he did and what could have been during his time in Eugene. Before his brutal ACL injury, Dixon was a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and had the Ducks ranked #2 in the nation. Dixon finished his Oregon career with 38 touchdown passes, 21 interceptions and 1,208 rushing yards.
5. Akili Smith
Akili Smith put up jaw dropping numbers in 1998 as the Oregon starting QB and led the Ducks to an 8-4 record that season while winning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year with 32 touchdown passes and just 8 interceptions. NFL Scouts took notice and Smith was taken 3rd overall by the Bengals in the 1999 Draft.
6. Darron Thomas
Darron Thomas lands at 6th on this list due to leading the Ducks to their first National Title appearance in 2010. Oregon went 24-3 in 2010 and 2011 with Thomas at the helm and while he had a great supporting cast, Thomas was a dynamic passer and runner. The dual threat QB finished his career with 66 touchdown passes, 17 interceptions and 719 rushing yards.
7. Vernon Adams Jr.
Even though he was only in Eugene for one season, Vernon Adams Jr. was electric in a Ducks uniform. Adams had a backyard football play style and would frequently turn broken plays into huge gains. The Eastern Washington transfer finished the 2015 season with 26 touchdown passes, 6 interceptions and a 179.1 QB rating.
8. Kellen Clemens
A three year starter for Oregon, Clemens had some very solid seasons for the Ducks under Mike Bellotti. Clemens capped his career in 2005 by leading the Ducks to a 10 win season and finished his time in Eugene with 61 touchdown passes, 24 interceptions and 535 rushing yards. The Burns, Oregon native was selected in the 2nd round of the 2006 NFL Draft and played in the league until 2017.
9. Jeremiah Masoli
Jeremiah Masoli was the perfect QB to start in the Chip Kelly run based offense with his physical approach and his ability to quickly read defenses. Masoli led Oregon to a Rose Bowl appearance in 2009 against Ohio State and had 28 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions and 1,386 rushing yards during his time in Eugene before transferring to Ole Miss.
10. A.J. Feeley
The 10th spot on the list goes to A.J. Feeley who only started one season at Oregon in 1999 but took the Ducks to a 9-3 record. The QB from Ontario, Oregon was selected in the 5th round of the NFL Draft and played in the NFL until 2011.