The spotlight will likely be on Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota battling it out to be the starting quarterback for the Ducks. Still, with no definite starter and not learning anything about the position during the Pac-12 Media Day, it’s always interesting to find out what’s next if injuries or under-performance sits either of the guys ahead.
Junior Dustin Haines and incoming freshman Jake Rodrigues will try to work their way up the depth chart to potentially even compete with Bennett and Mariota. Haines has been with the program for two years; he knows the routine and has played in games at multiple positions. Rodrigues comes in as a three-star recruit and having a fantastic senior campaign at his high school last season.
Haines has appeared in seven games over the last two years with the Ducks. Outside of an 18-yard catch against New Mexico in 2010 when playing as a wide receiver, there isn’t much to show except the experience gained in practice and actually being out on the field during game day.
On the sidelines in 2010, he was a part of the travel squad, holding up the unique signs that displayed four different pictures. Appearing nonsensical with random displays of Rece Davis and some animals, it was a perfect way to disguise the play calling that no other team could pick up on.
Even with the experience with the team, the question will be if Rodrigues has enough skill to surpass him. Playing for Whitney High School in Rocklin, California, the former senior was a dual threat. He completed 105-186 passes for 2,036 yards with 26 touchdowns and six interceptions. On the ground, he carried the rock 134 times for 684 yards and an additional 15 touchdowns.
There was more efficiency in his senior season, completing 56.5 percent of his passes compared to 51. However, in both seasons the quarterback threw for over 2,000 yards.
Rodrigues was even more of a runner in his junior season, carrying the ball over 200 times for 1,300 total yards and 22 touchdowns. Perhaps the slowdown was based on a better running back with the school, or the fact that he also did some work at punting the ball.
Without question, Rodrigues’ profile fits what the Ducks want on their offensive squad. If he can perform at the college level and gain some snaps with the first team in practice, he may add a little bit of fuel in the starting quarterback battle.