Justin Herbert’s career was special in Eugene.
The former three-star recruit was the definition of under-recruited, committing to Mark Helfrich and Oregon over just a few other offers like Montana State, Northern Arizona, and Portland State. It’s hard to believe a talent like Herbert was overlooked by every single FBS program in the country. This was arguably the best scholarship offer of Helfrich’s tenure.
Herbert started as a freshman in 2016 with 1,936 yards and 19 touchdowns with a 64 percent completion rate in eight games. The Ducks finished just 4-8 in 2016 but it was clear that he was the quarterback of the future and began 2017 as QB1.
In 2017, Herbert started eight games again, passing for 1,983 yards, 15 touchdowns, and five interceptions, coming close to his freshman numbers. He also had to deal with his second coach in as many seasons leaving suddenly before the bowl game, making way for Mario Cristobal.
With his third head coach in three seasons leading the way, Herbert had a breakout junior season with 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns but his completion percentage dipped to a career-low 59. Oregon did get back on track in year one of Cristobal, however, with a 9-4 record.
And then came Herbert’s senior year where he passed for 3,471 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just six interceptions on a 67 percent completion rate. He led Oregon to a 12-2 record before getting drafted sixth overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. He has since been named NFL offensive rookie of the year and is a preseason MVP candidate.