After Shough's Exit, a Look Around the Pac-12 at the QB Competition

The Huskies don't have the marquee name, but they're as deep as anyone.

Tyler Shough never to got to sample an Oregon-Washington football game.

He watched one as a back-up, saw another get scrubbed by the pandemic.

And now the 6-foot-5, 221-pound Shough is gone, leaving without enjoying the full Northwest college experience, after announcing on Friday that he has entered the transfer portal for who knows what reason.

He was the Ducks starter for their seven games this past season and he had three years of eligibility remaining.

As the rampant quarterback movement continues to spin out of control, the Pac-12 currently is down to four healthy returning starters in Arizona State's Jayden Daniels, California's Chase Garbers, USC's Kedon Slovis and Washington's Dylan Morris.

Three others are recovering from season-ending injuries in Oregon State's Tristan Gebbia, Colorado's Sam Noyer and UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Yet another in WSU's Jayden de Laura is suspended for an alleged DUI.

While Cal and USC might have the marquee names of Slovis and Garbers at QB, the Huskies stand to have the deepest room with returning starter Morris, incoming 5-star recruit Sam Huard and Colorado State grad transfer Patrick O'Brien seemingly giving the UW three players who could start without much trouble. 

Let's review the quarterback situation at each school:

Arizona — With the coaching staff replaced, the Wildcats lost starter Grant Gunnell (Memphis), reserve Rhett Rodriguez (Louisiana-Monroe) and top freshman recruit Clay Millen, the later decommitting. Yes, he is the son of former UW quarterback Hugh Millen. Arizona, which should be furiously hunting for a transfer, has sophomore Will Plummer, who completed 43 of 80 passes for 388 yards in 2020, and not much else. 

Arizona State — The Sun Devils are in good shape with the shifty Daniels, a two-year starter. He hit on 49 of 84 passes for 701 yards and 5 scores, and ran for 223 yards and 4 TDs during the pandemic season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound sophomore gives ASU a chance every time with his mobility. He'll be backed up by two highly regarded incoming freshmen, Daylin McLemore and Finn Collins. 

California — Garbers gives the Bears the winningest quarterback in the conference with 14 victories. The 6-2, 225-pound junior has career totals of 375 completions in 611 attempts for 4,049 yards and 34 TDS, with 16 interceptions. His backup, Devon Modster, has started games for both Cal and UCLA. 

Colorado — Noyer will return as the Buffaloes starter, but he's had shoulder surgery and will miss spring drills. The 6-4, 220-pound senior from Beaverton, Oregon, had a change of heart after considering entering the transfer portal. He hit 80 of 137 passes for 1,001 yards and 6 TDs before getting hurt in the Alamo Bowl. Brendan Lewis, his back-up, returns.

Oregon — Without Shough, the Ducks are left with senior Anthony Brown, the one-time Boston College transfer and 18-game starter, as the No. 1 guy. Shough got pulled in the Fiesta Bowl in favor of Brown, which might have been enough to send him over the edge and out the door. Or else Shough simply didn't want to deal with the looming presence of 6-6, 212-pound redshirt freshman Jay Butterfield and 6-4, 200-pound freshman Ty Thompson.

Oregon State — The Beavers are in decent shape, providing the 6-2, 201-pound Gebbia bounces back from what looked to be a knee injury suffered against Oregon. The one-time Nebraska transfer, however, was ably replaced by Chance Nolan, a 6-3, 200-pound sophomore who scored on his first college play to beat Oregon. Gebbia returns with 5 starts, Nolan with 3, so experience is not an issue.

Stanford — The Cardinal, once Davis Mills passed up his final season and left for the NFL, are unusually thin at quarterback. First up is 6-4, 225-pound Jack West, who has two starts on his resume, and 6-6, 228-pound sophomore Tanner McKee, who has appeared in one game. 

UCLA — The Bruins likewise have a pair of battle-tested QBs in Thompson-Robinson, who suffered a knee injury, and sophomore Chase Griffin. DTR threw 4 TD passes each against USC and Cal, while Griffin tossed 4 against Stanford. DTR's season stats were 90 completions in 138 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 scores. Ethan Garbers, of course, is in the mix after fleeing the UW following his freshman season.

USC — Slovis is already drawing Heisman Trophy mention. The 6-3, 215-pound sophomore comes off a glistening 177-for-264 passing, 1,921-yard and 17-TD performance over 6 games, and 5,423 passing yards and 47 TDs over two seasons. Of course, this position has more celebrity sightings than Hollywood Boulevard, with touted freshmen Miller Moss and Jaxson Dart joining the mix. 

Utah — The Utes are another school starting over with a host of candidates, topped by a pair of transfers from Texas. Cameron Rising, a 6-2, 200-pound sophomore, threw 6 passes and lasted a solitary game during the pandemic season before going down with an injury. Ja'Quinden Jackson, a 6-2, 232-pound redshirt freshman, is another Longhorns import who will join him and compete for the job. 

Washington -- Morris returns for more after winning a heady four-man competition and then directing the Huskies to 3 victories in 4 outings. The 6-foot, 200-pounder was the smallest UW starting quarterback in three decades. He was good on 67 of 110 passes for 897 yards and 4 scores. Behind him is Huard, the son and nephew of former Husky and NFL quarterbacks, who has thrown for 11,765 yards and 132 TDs without playing his high school senior year yet. Add in the 6-5, 235-pound O'Brien, who started 12 games in two seasons at Colorado State and threw 30 passes at Nebraska. 

WSU — De Laura muddled things up when got in trouble with the law and was put on suspension. In his freshman season, he completed 78 of 129 passes for 886 yards and 5 scores, seemingly enough to keep his job. However, Tennessee grad transfer Jarrett Guarantino moves into the lead role in his absence. He started parts of 4 seasons for the Vols, but left after getting benched through 7 games in the most recent one. He has career SEC stats of 494 completions in 808 attempts for 6,174 yards and 38 TDs. He didn't win a lot of games, though.

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