Ty Thompson arrived in Eugene with perhaps the most hype of any quarterback in program history. And this program has seen a lot of greats. Marcus Mariota, Joey Harrington, Dennis Dixon, Justin Herbert. The list goes on.
After what many would probably describe as an underwhelming season of quarterback play last year from Tyler Shough, a hole still remained unfilled following Herbert's departure for the NFL. Whether or not it was realistic, fans were clamoring to see Thompson get playing time as a true freshman heading into this season.
Now that Anthony Brown is the starter, Thompson represents the future of the position for Oregon---and we got a glimpse of what awaits in years to come last week against Stony Brook.
Thompson replaced an injured Brown to start the second half, and early on the Ducks turned to the ground attack. However, Thompson was able to show off his playmaking ability as well, going 6-for-9, throwing for 82 yards and two touchdowns, against no interceptions.
Getting the chance to take the field with the starters in place of an injured teammate may not have been how he pictured making his college debut, but it was a moment he'll hold with him moving forward.
"Getting called upon coming out of half, it's just some excitement I've never experienced before.” Thompson said. “We were pretty successful, obviously moved the ball down the field a few times. The team really took me under their wing, helped me, so it was a lot of fun. It was a really good experience for sure."
It seems as if Thompson knew going into halftime there was a chance he would be going in the game with Brown shaken up from a big hit before the half. When Mario Cristobal told him it was go time, he didn't flinch.
“I was just sitting there at halftime in the locker room under the bleachers, and Coach Cristobal came out and said ‘you ready?’ and I said ‘yes sir,’ and he said ‘you're going.’ So that was that.”
Throughout spring ball and fall camp, Thompson was battling with Jay Butterfield and Robby Ashford for second-team reps, and Thompson has the job, at least for the time being.
Both Cristobal and Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead have praised Thompson for his maturity and poise as a freshman.
For Thompson, all that starts in his process.
“I think it's more about preparation than anything.” Thompson said of the roots of his poise. “Being ready to go before you even hit the field, it makes it a lot more easy on your mental. That's 90% of the quarterback game right now is making sure you know what you're doing before you do it.
WATCH: Tetairoa McMillan Scores Multiple Touchdowns in Big Win
The Oregon wide receiver commit made huge plays on both sides of the ball
"So preparing like I'm the guy, like I'm the next man up, it just helped a lot. I got the opportunity this Saturday to hit the field and I feel like I was ready and prepared.”
After a strong debut, Thompson knows he's still learning and in the mean time he wants to help the team any way he can.
Even though it was just one half of action, he was able to savor the special moments like when he connected with fellow freshmen Dont'e Thornton and Terrance Ferguson for six. Moments like that will help foster his confidence and grow in brotherhood with his teammates.
Now having the chance to step back and process what this weekend meant for him, his college debut was everything he hoped it would be.
“Hitting the field for the first time with all my guys---throwing my first touchdown pass to one of my best friends Terrance Ferguson, couldn't have dreamed of a better situation.”
More from Ducks Digest
Join the Community
Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickbatt22
Like and follow Ducks Digest on Facebook: @DucksDigest