clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fall camp Pac-12 quarterback battle primer

Breaking down the Pac-12 QB races heading into fall.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

olThe spring was chock full of quarterback competitions all around the Pac-12 and pretty much all of them have bled into the fall. The spring provided a lot of progress and a little bit of closure with some of the battles, but most are still wide open frenzies that should make fall camp very interesting at some Pac-12 programs.

Here is how I think the Pac-12 QB races stack up heading into fall camp.


1. Jeff Lockie Jr.

Lockie did just about all he could in the spring to get a head start lead on Adams before he shows up. I get the feeling that most still think Adams is the favorite, but Lockie isn't going to go down with a fight and his extensive experience in the Oregon offense still gives him a huge advantage over the FCS transfer.

2. Vernon Adams Sr.

Adams is a bit of a dead horse and he hasn't even shown up at Oregon yet. Oregon expects Adams to show up a few days late to camp and will become the odds on favorite once he hits the practice field. Based on what he did against Pac-12 competition with a Big Sky supporting cast, I think Adams has a great shot at winning the job, but his late arrival could make it a tougher task.

3. Ty Griffin So.

The forgotten transfer, Griffin had a solid spring and could be the guy to step up if Adams and Lockie struggle or have trouble with injuries. A former Paul Johnson QB at Georgia Tech, Griffin brings excellent athleticism to the position and might be the best running threat of the group. I don't think he is right in the thick of things with Adams and Lockie, but is a great third-option at this point in the game.

4. Taylor Allie So.

The walk-on from Eugene got a lot of reps in the spring and really impressed, especially in the spring game. He probably won't be able to beat out Lockie on the depth chart, but he could provide some excellent depth.

5. Morgan Mahalak RFr.

Mahalak was the disappointment of the spring for the Ducks as he came in as maybe the favorite to eventually compete with Adams, but failed to impress, especially in the spring game. He can turn things around, but it will be an uphill battle with the amount of talent and depth here.

6. Travis Jonsen Fr.

Jonsen graduated early to take place in spring and showed why he was a big time recruit, but also still looked a little bit like a guy who was still basically a high school senior. He already looks like he could be a starter as soon as 2016, but (especially with Adams on board) it looks like Oregon will probably want to redshirt him.

Prediction - Every day that Adams isn't officially a Duck pushes me closer to predicting Lockie, but I am going to stick with Adams. I don't think the Ducks would be jumping through the hoops they are to get Adams in if they weren't planning on using him.

Oregon State

1. Seth Collins Fr.

The freshman from San Diego graduated early to get in for spring and it paid off as he grabbed hold of the lead to be Gary Andersen's first starter. He was electric in the spring game and seems to fit the mold of what Andersen is looking for at quarterback. He will probably take his lumps as a true freshman (especially at 185 pounds) but he looks like the top candidate to get the job.

2. Marcus McMaryion RFr.

The leader of the Riley holdovers by just a hair over Mitchell in my opinion due to his dual-threat capabilities. He didn't do much in the spring game, but he can catch Collins if he can step it up in the fall and use his experience to his advantage.

3. Nick Mitchell RFr.

Mitchell has a redshirt year under his belt, but is already behind Collins who has more explosion and who outperformed him in the spring. He can still get the starting spot, but he is going to have to really step it up after a disappointing spring game performance and overcome not having the athleticism of Collins and McMaryion.

Prediction - Collins just seems to bring a lot more to the table right now and given that he was the only QB signed by Andersen, he should have a major advantage unless McMaryion or Mitchell really step it up.


1. Josh Rosen Fr.

Arguably the nation's top QB recruit in the Class of 2015, Rosen graduated early to practice in the spring and lived up to expectations, looking every bit the blue chip QB he is expected to be. He looks to be the starter going into fall camp and will have huge expectations.

2. Jerry Neuheisel Jr.

I actually thought Neuheisel had a good shot to beat out Rosen for at least a year with his experience and the ability he flashed against Texas last year, but after spring, I think he is likely the back-up. The fight isn't over and he can really get back into it if Rosen makes freshman mistakes in fall camp and he plays like a steady veteran.

Prediction - UCLA fans' dreams are going to come true and Rosen is going to win the job with Neuheisel remaining a very good back-up.


1. Travis Wilson Sr.

Wilson has just never seemed to put it all together and stay healthy at Utah. Because of that, the door has cracked to competition for his starting job and he will have to stay steady to hold onto it in fall camp.

2. Kendal Thompson Sr.

Thompson may have wrestled the starting job away from Wilson in 2014, but tore an ACL late in the year. He missed spring, but is expected to be healthy and will at least get a shot at testing Wilson for some part-time snaps.

Prediction - I think Thompson earns snaps but Wilson hangs onto the job. The fact that I wonder how close to 100 recovered Thompson will be at the start of the season factors into that prediction.


1. Jeff Lindquist Jr.

Lindquist used a steady hand to take the lead in the spring, but he has a lot to prove as his only start was a complete disaster against Hawaii last year. He impressed in spring practice though and did the best job of limiting mistakes, a must for quarterbacks playing under Chris Petersen.

2. K.J. Carta-Samuels RFr.

Many thought Carta-Samuels was the favorite to win the job when 2014 starter Cyler Miles left the program, but he still looked a bit to careless with the ball in the spring to take the lead. Don't count him out in the fall though as being a QB signed by Petersen (Lindquist was not) is playing in his favor at his class standing gives him more time to grow in the long run.

3. Jake Browning Fr.

A national record breaker, Browning came in for spring with a lot of Husky fans buzzing about him winning the job right Away. He is still in the running, but Browning was a little bit too much a gunslinger in the spring and is a little slight, so it is likely the Huskies will look to redshirt him.

4. Tony Rodriguez Jr.

A JC transfer, Rodriguez was likely brought in to save Browning's redshirt should Lindquist and Carta-Samuels go down, but you never know, especially with how Little Lindquist has proven. He could get into the running.

Prediction - Lindquist's safety with the balls wins him the starting job heading into the opener, but watch for Carta-Samuels to challenge him later in the season if the Huskies offense starts to struggle.

Washington State

1. Luke Falk So.

Falk has long been assumed to be the starter even since he stepped in for Connor Halliday last year and filled up the stat sheet, but Mike Leach has been adamant that the job is still open. However, Falk did just about all he could to cement the job in the spring and I would shocked if he doesn't hold onto it.

2. Peyton Bender RFr.

Bender is the guy who will get a shot if Falk falters in fall camp.

Prediction - Barring injury, I think Falk has this one locked in.