Willie Taggart and the Oregon Ducks have worked their magic yet again, this time landing a 4-star quarterback out of Arizona.

Tyler Shough is the top rated recruit from the state of Arizona and a national top-ten pro-style quarterback. Shough’s commitment comes shortly after his unofficial visit to Oregon on Oct. 4. Shough was originally a North Carolina commit before flipping to the Ducks on Oct. 7.

His flip is a blow to the Tar Heels, but a huge pickup for the Ducks. With 3-star commit MJ Cunningham being recruited as an athlete, Shough is the first true quarterback in Oregon’s 2018 class. This comes at a time when the Ducks’ options at quarterback are scarce. True sophomore Justin Herbert seemingly has a lock on the starting role for the time being, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the team’s options open.

Oregon has spent much of the 2017 season in a quarterback dilemma. Former 3-star recruit Terry Wilson Jr. elected to transfer to junior college after redshirting his freshman year in 2016. Shortly after, Travis Jonsen, a former 4-star commit, chose to do the same. Both players had hopes of winning the starting job, so when it became clear that they would be buried in the depth chart, both elected to leave.

Oregon would love to have either player on the roster right now with Herbert being out several weeks with a broken collarbone. Injuries have forced the Ducks to burn freshman Braxton Burmeister’s redshirt to take Herbert’s place. While the plan will not likely be to play Shough immediately, it will be good for the Ducks to have an insurance policy should Herbert go down again next season.

Shough and Burmeister will likely spend the spring battling for the backup quarterback role. Both players were sought after recruits who ranked highly in their respective classes. Burmeister has been labeled as a dual-threat quarterback, while Shough is the more traditional pro-style.

This is where the battle will be interesting for Oregon. Historically, the Ducks have succeeded with players like Burmeister. Oregon has experienced the most success while running with a dual-threat quarterback. Where Shough might have the advantage, however, is the direction the program going.

Taggart has been slowly shifting the culture of Oregon football to that of a more traditional powerhouse. The defense is inconsistent, but is playing with a swagger it hasn’t had in years. Taggart has also shown signs of changing the offense to one that would be better complemented by a pro-style quarterback.

In a few years, Shough’s commitment to the Ducks has the potential to make waves. His style of play seems to be more of what Taggart wants to mold the team’s offense into. With some of the quarterback woes Oregon is facing this season, someone like Shough will be welcome with open arms once he enrolls. It’s highly unlikely that he plays much, if at all, for Oregon next season, but after Herbert leaves, Shough could end up being the quarterback for the future that Taggart desperately needs.

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Author Details
My name is Zach Regelin, I am a student at the University of Oregon, and I live and breathe sports. As a lifelong Oregonian, being a sports fan can be a constant struggle. Instead of asking myself whether my local NBA team can compete for a title, I wonder which future superstar we passed on in the draft. Even my own school — which has had plenty of success over the years — always seems to come up short in the biggest moments. Despite the frequent heartbreaks, I wouldn’t trade my fandom of Oregon sports for any other team with a more lucrative history. It will just make the eventual championship that much sweeter.
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My name is Zach Regelin, I am a student at the University of Oregon, and I live and breathe sports. As a lifelong Oregonian, being a sports fan can be a constant struggle. Instead of asking myself whether my local NBA team can compete for a title, I wonder which future superstar we passed on in the draft. Even my own school — which has had plenty of success over the years — always seems to come up short in the biggest moments. Despite the frequent heartbreaks, I wouldn’t trade my fandom of Oregon sports for any other team with a more lucrative history. It will just make the eventual championship that much sweeter.
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