Oregon WR Addison watches QB drama as he makes comeback
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) After injury kept him out of Oregon's march to the national championship game last season, wide receiver Bralon Addison is closely watching the Ducks' quarterback position as he prepares for his comeback.
He's become friends with Vernon Adams, the Eastern Washington star who needs to pass one more class to join the Ducks. He also has chemistry with Jeff Lockie, who was the backup to Heisman winner Marcus Mariota last season.
Naturally the questions he's getting at the start of fall camp have to do with which QB he'd like to see win the starting nod come September.
Addison is diplomatic.
''I think we'll be fine. We're comfortable with whichever guy gets the job,'' Addison says. ''We have full confidence in the coaches that they'll make the best decision for the team.''
Addison was a breakout star at receiver for the Ducks in 2013, with 61 catches for 890 yards and seven touchdowns. It was expected that Addison would be Mariota's favorite target in 2014, but in a spring scrimmage he tore the ACL in his right knee and needed surgery.
There was talk that Addison might join the Ducks for college football's first playoffs last season, but the team opted to preserve his redshirt. He looked sharp in the 2015 spring game, catching four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.
But the real surprise was that Addison also completed three passes, including a 10-yard touchdown to Darren Carrington in the second quarter.
''I feel great. Spring ball is a big curve for me and being able to get over the curve is good and I'm feeling great going into fall camp,'' he said. ''I'm just ready to get out there and compete, and just get ready to go.''
Obviously, who starts at quarterback for the Ducks is important to Addison.
Adams could join the Ducks as early as Thursday if he passes the last final he needs to complete his degree at Eastern Washington. A star for the Eagles for the past three seasons, Adams announced in February that he intended to play his senior season at Oregon as a graduate transfer.
The Ducks were one of several teams courting Adams, an FCS All-American who threw for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns in three seasons at Eastern Washington.
Adams has been working out in Eugene while also studying for that final math class. He hasn't been allowed to join the Ducks in any on-campus or official capacity until he's wrapped up his degree.
Lockie, meanwhile, is already entrenched in Oregon's culture. He learned from the best in Mariota, although he got little chance to prove it last season, completing 21 of 27 overall passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, mostly in mop-up duty.
Mariota set a Pac-12 record for total touchdowns last season with 58, including 42 via pass, 15 on the run and one touchdown catch. He also set the conference mark for career touchdowns with 136.
Mariota declared his eligibility for the NFL draft shortly after the Ducks fell 42-20 to Ohio State in the first College Football Playoff championship game and was the second overall pick, heading to the Tennessee Titans.
In the spring game, Lockie completed all nine of his passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team to a 35-29 victory.
Asked about the difference between Lockie and Adams, Addison again was tactful.
''I really can't say so far,'' he said. ''We haven't gotten a big chance to work out with Vernon yet. But I know Jeff is a guy who has improved year after year and I think we will be comfortable with him if he gets the job. It will be interesting when Vernon gets here.''
Whatever happens, Addison is realistic. His focus is on himself.
''The main thing I've been trying to do is get better as a player, get better as a teammate, and continue to learn the game more,'' he said.