Oregon Ducks vs Michigan State: It’s Showtime For Quarterback Vernon Adams


If you took a glance at Vernon Adams’ Rivals.com page, you’d be perplexed.

There isn’t a single star next to his name. And there are no major programs in his list of college choices. In fact, there are only three altogether — all of which are middling football schools.

Alas, you’d notice a commitment status to Eastern Washington University, which is where Vernon Adams’ college football journey began.

This Saturday, Vernon Adams will run out of the tunnel at a sold out Spartan Stadium, to the noise of 75,000 plus screaming heads. This is where he was always meant to be: immersed in a swarm of hype, leading the #7 Ducks against the #5 Michigan State Spartans. It’s the grandest of stages. But technically speaking, Vernon Adams was never really supposed to be here.

A (generous) six-feet tall, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback from Pasadena, CA, Adams’ was never billed as the highly touted quarterback you’d think he was coming out of high school. Adams’ lack of offers was the culmination of many reasons; his less than ideal size for a quarterback led the way, however.

There were no teams from the power five conferences salivating for the undersized quarterback. No one cared who Vernon Adams was. Eastern Washington did, of course. And so Adams went to Cheney, Washington, where he dazzled the Big Sky Conference (and a few Pac-12 teams) with jaw-dropping numbers and implausible performances. All of a sudden, the attention he never received in high school was gaining steam.

Flash forward to early 2015, where the once overlooked Adams was arguably the most sought after recruit in the nation via the graduate transfer rule. Adams could choose practically any school he wanted. He selected the Oregon Ducks, and the high expectations that came attached.

Vernon Adams arrival in Eugene to play quarterback meant he’d have to fill the shoes of his predecessor: Heisman winner and 2015 #2 overall draft pick Marcus Mariota. Ever since Phil Knight turned Oregon football into a national brand, mediocre seasons weren’t to be tolerated. Even losing a Heisman quarterback wasn’t seen as a viable excuse. The standard remained in place for Adams.

The fate of the Oregon Ducks’ season rests on the shoulders of Vernon Adams. And so his journey to recognition comes to fruition at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. If Adams was a little taller, a little faster coming out of high-school, odds are he wouldn’t be the current starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks. And maybe he wouldn’t be the exhilarating player he is either. Vernon Adams’ humble beginnings are likely what catapulted him to success. Whether torching FCS opponents in cities like Bozeman, Grand Forks, and Greeley prepared Adams for the bright lights of East Lansing is still to be determined. Soon we will have answers.

Vernon Adams will lead the Oregon Ducks to Spartan Stadium, against the #5 team in the nation on Saturday. The eyes of the college football world are upon him. Not bad for a zero-star recruit.

Next: Pac-12 Week Two: All Eyes On East Lansing