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Predicting the 2015 Pac-12 quarterback battles: Lockie takes the lead at Oregon

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Taking a crack at predicting how each Pac-12 QB battle with shake out at the end of spring.

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It's another Pac-12 spring filled with some awesome quarterback battles as teams around the conference try to replace Pac-12 legends like Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Taylor Kelly, Sean Mannion and Connor Halliday.

Most of these will likely be far from resolved this spring, but there early practices will be our first chance to take a look at the fights to be the next starting QBs in the Pac-12 and here are who I think will be the key players in the battles and how they will eventually shake out coming out of spring.

Oregon

*Oregon's situation is unique as the favorite to win the job and follow Marcus Mariota, FCS star and Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams, will not be able to practice with the Ducks until the summer. So, how the spring shakes out at QB in Eugene means less than it will at other schools.

1. Jeff Lockie 6'2 200 Jr.

2. Morgan Mahalak 6'3 205 rFr.

3. Travis Jonsen 6'3 195 Fr.

All of these guys have their work cut out for them in beating out Adams when he shows up, but I wouldn't be shocked if Lockie or Mahalak pull it off. Oregon's offense is a complicated thing (ask defenses), so I think the two guys who are already in the program have a distinct advantage. In spring, I think I will give the slight edge to Lockie since he has been the in program longer and already won the staff's confidence enough to make him the back-up for the past two seasons. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jonsen (formerly Waller) make some noise this spring, but ultimately end up redshirting.

Oregon State

1. Luke Del Rio 6'1 205 So.

2. Nick Mitchell 6'2 195 rFr.

3. Seth Collins 6'3 185 Fr.

The Beavers recently publicly cut their race to these three guys and I have to think that the polished Del Rio will come out of spring with the lead due to his experience and because of the fact that he is probably the most ready to go right now. With a new coach, you always watch for a guy that he signed, Collins, creeping up to the top, but I feel that, at least for the spring, Del Rio will be the number one.

UCLA

1. Jerry Neuheisel 6'1 200 Jr.

2. Joshua Rosen 6'4 210 Fr.

3. Asianti Woulard 6'3 210 So.

Neuheisel is your classic guy that everyone seems to hope keeps getting beaten out, but never does and I think he keeps it going for at least the spring. I think Rosen makes some noise, but an entire offense will be far too much for a guy who should still be in high school to absorb enough to where he overtakes two guys in front of him in line. Woulard wasn't able to beat out Neuheisel before, so I would guess he begins to fade into the distance with Rosen on campus.

Washington

1. K.J. Carta-Samuels 6'2 220 rFr.

2. Jeff Lindquist 6'3 245 Jr.

3. Jake Browning 6'2 205 Fr.

The Huskies already had a QB competition heading into spring, but it got a lot more open and interesting when 2014 starter Cyler Miles took a leave from the program a couple of weeks ago. The first quarterback signed by Chris Petersen, Carta-Samuels is now the favorite to win the job and I would put my money on him since he was handpicked by Petersen and has all of the physical tools to take the job. I think Lindquist falls in as a very strong backup and true freshman Browning shows a lot of promise, but ends up heading for a needed redshirt.

Washington State

1. Luke Falk 6'4 210 So.

2. Peyton Bender 6'0 185 rFr.

3. Tyler Hilinski 6'3 190 Fr.

Many assume that walk-on Falk, who came in when Connor Halliday went down last season, is a shoe-in to start, but Mike Leach has stated that there will be a QB competition this spring. I think Falk showed that he has what it takes to be the starter full-time though and I doubt that Bender or Hilinski will be able to beat him out.