The Oregon Ducks will be counting on the quarterback position to be a major strength in 2014 thanks to the return of Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota. But after Mariota, the Ducks are starting to get thin under center. After the spring game, Jake Rodrigues took himself out of the backup quarterback race by deciding to transfer. Now, another member of the depth chart is on their way out as redshirt freshman Damion Hobbs has also announced he will transfer this summer.
Hobbs was a three-star member of the Oregon 2013 recruiting class and spent his first season on campus redshirting and learning the playbook. But many reports had Hobbs falling behind fellow redshirt freshman and walk-on Taylor Alie which would have been a road-block to Hobbs ever finding his way into the starting lineup at Oregon. Whether or not that was the reason for Hobbs’ decision is unclear but he will not be back next fall.
The move cuts down on what looked to be a ridiculously deep quarterback group for Oregon to somewhat thin depth chart. After starting the spring with five quarterbacks on the roster, the Ducks are now down to Mariota at No. 1, Jeff Lockie as the backup, and Alie behind him with incoming freshman Morgan Mahalak joining the mix in the fall.
There is no doubt that Oregon is comfortable with their quarterback at the top of their depth chart but there has to be a bit of concern with the loss of depth behind Mariota. The Ducks have enough bodies to get through the 2014 season with ease but could start to feel the effects of these defections down the road. Will a thinned out quarterback group lead to trouble in Eugene?