Auburn quarterback transfer Bo Nix, who began his career against Oregon football, will play his final season with the Ducks in 2022.
If you have been an Oregon football fan for the past few years or more, you likely remember the name Bo Nix.
In 2019, a true freshman who came into his first game ever in college and beat the Justin Herbert led Oregon Ducks 27-21 on a 14-point fourth quarter. Since then, we have seen the progression of this young quarterback and his development over time. A quarterback who would go on to play two more seasons in the SEC with Auburn, and while not looking overwhelmingly amazing, has produced relatively well in his time there.
With the news of his transfer to Oregon recently, we will be covering the news as well as breaking down his previous seasons and seeing what Oregon will get in the senior quarterback.
Bo Nix’s initial transfer information
First, we’ll cover the transfer news which came directly from the source on Sunday night.
This transfer comes after Bo left for the portal earlier this month, and after meeting with the Auburn coach Bryan Harsin he ruled out any chance of returning to the program. He would go on to say (in regards to the meeting with Coach Harsin):
"“All that happened was we just had a conversation, and I told him what I was thinking and coach told me what he was thinking and I’m not going to get into the specifics, that’s personal, in between him and I, but I do think it was a great conversation to have and the open line of communication was there from both coach and I and it was an important decision and there’s a lot to go into it.”"
After only about a week or so in the portal, he would go on to be brought in by the new regime in Eugene. It’s worth noting that the Ducks’ new offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham was also the offensive coordinator for Auburn in 2019, so this could have played a role in Nix’s decision.
Bo Nix’s Auburn career
So far up to this point, it’s hard to get a true read on Nix as he has looked good in his games so far, but as previously mentioned, not astounding. Over the course of his career, he has held a passer efficiency rating of 123.9 or higher each season on average and has averaged 126.9 in his whole career. On the flip side, there are a lot of decisions we see Bo making that are less than stellar, and he has had his fair share of them in Auburn.
In terms of traits that are positive for Bo, his frame is very solid at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, and he has a strong outside-the-pocket presence, as he is able to roll out and extend plays. He also has the physical toughness to shed tackles while in the pocket and works extremely well off-script. He works very well with short-range passes and has shown flashes of touch on back shoulder passes, however, his overall intermediate to long-range accuracy is still lacking. This is evident as he only has one season with a completion rate over 60 percent, and his yards per attempt tend to stay under 7.0, which shows his focus on the short-range game.
With all of this said, the main focus Oregon needs to push with Bo is his decision-making, as this is the most obvious issue in his game. If they can work down the interception numbers slightly more and encourage Bo to calm down slightly in the pocket, this would generally be a positive for both Oregon and Nix.
While focusing on his running capabilities is likely not encouraged as he is not a phenomenal runner, the ability to let him roll out and make decisions on his own should be a focus for Dan Lanning this season.
What to expect from Bo: Senior year, NFL draft
Finally, the question everyone is asking right now, what can we expect from Bo, and how can he improve his draft stock in 2022.
As previously mentioned, Bo focuses down on the short passing game and works extremely well outside structure. This can be tapped into as Lanning will likely be looking to implement a more run-heavy offense with screens and short passes also a point of emphasis. This caters to Nix well, and if implemented correctly, could really bring out the best in him rather than just flashes and drop-offs.
In terms of the Draft, it seemingly is still too early to tell where we could see Nix go.
With the 2021 class relatively lacking at the quarterback position, we should expect to see a ton of teams in 2022 looking to draft one, which could heighten the value of Bo if he performs well this season.
With that said, expecting Nix to have a Heisman-contending season is out of pocket, but expecting him to bring success to this team is another conversation.
For a passer generally passing in the 2,000 to 2,500-yard range and with a decent enough touchdown-to-interception ratio, he could most definitely be successful with Oregon before his declaration for the draft.
Oregon fans should be optimistic for this move at the very least, and the one-year rental in Nix is seemingly a very solid move by the Ducks in a new era of college football.