Morgan Mahalak's first-year numbers as a starting quarterback compare favorably to Jared Goff, the quarterback who preceded him at Marin Catholic High and started as a freshman at Cal, and Marcus Mariota's dazzling senior season at St. Louis High in Honolulu.
Like Mahalak, Mariota had a Division One quarterback ahead of him as a prep and had to wait until his senior year to start.
Hat Dance: in a set-up that offers a wicked send-up of the traditional hat ceremony, Morgan Mahalak offered a twist, making a suspenseful choice between four Oregon lids. No Juju Smith fakeout to insult a fan base on his big day.
The tale from the stat sheet:
Jared played 16 games, going 14-2. Morgan played 13, going 12-1. Marcus played 12 going 11-1.
Jared: 235/368 63.9%, 3696 yds, 40 TDs with 12 Ints. Yards per comp: 15.72, Yards per attempt: 10.04 103 Rush attempts for 332 yds (3.2) with 8 TDs. Total YDS: 4028. Total touches: 471 (8.55) 48 total TDs.
Morgan: 160/260 61.5%, 2795 yds, 38 TDs with 4 Ints. Yards per comp: 17.46, Yards per attempt: 10.75 82 Rush attempts for 575 yds (7.01) with 7 TDs. Total YDS: 3370. Total touches: 342 (9.85) 45 total TDs.
Marcus: 165/255 64.7%, 2597 yds, 32 TDs with 5 Ints. Yards per comp: 15.73, Yards per attempt: 10.18 60 Rush attempts for 455 yds (7.58) with 7 TDs. Total YDS: 3052. Total touches: 315 (9.68) 39 total TDs.
Mahalak isn't as fast as Mariota. No one is among 100 years of Oregon quarterbacks. But it's interesting that his rushing numbers are comparable. He's an athletic runner who gets north and south while protecting the football, similar in style to Bryan Bennett, nimbler than Darron Thomas. Just 6-3, 190, he'll need to fill out as a collegian, but he has the work ethic to do that.
It's as a passer that the Kentfield, California product shines. He's cool in the pocket, with great technique, throwing with his legs in a whip-powerful consistent motion, delivering the ball on time and into tight windows accurately. Like Mariota as a high school player he makes good decisions, throwing just four interceptions in 260 attempts.
Only time and effort will make Morgan an Oregon starter, if ever. But it's evident from the numbers and the film that he has the potential to be capable and effective in the PAC-12 a couple of seasons from now.
Morgan is sharp and will have a year to upsize and learn the book. His Hudl profile says he's 6-4, 200 with 4.68 40. Not quite as fast as Masoli or Hobbs, but faster than Thomas. Very similar to Lockie and Rodrigues, and with awareness and quickness, he'll be a valid run threat. Maybe not long runs, but enough to evade a sack, pass on the run, get a few yards or move the chains. His passing may be better than all of them. Still, the Ducks are looking for another elite QB in 2015.
Off topic here but it is regarding JuJu Smith. I have read countless articles about NLOI day. I read many that said you could see how painful it looked that JuJu really wanted to wear that Oregon hat and NOT the U$C hat. I had a really good feeling about JuJu I really did and then to see him because of possible influences by the parents BUT I ask do you feel that maybe there might be some rumblings that he may just end up a Duck anyway. There were some Helfrich comments that lead you to believe there are more then one possible things happening and just playing the waiting game on possible additions to the 2014 class. What are your thoughts Dale. I would be interested in reading a possible article on this subject as well. We already know that there will more than likely be at least on new addition and waiting to hear on the transcripts of a player but he made it seem there were more changes that were possible as well.
Mahalak looks to be the next great Oregon QB. What happens to Lockie and Rodriguez now? They may never get a chance to perform. Does one of them transfer now?
Off topic, but is there a source that shows the number of scholarship players UO has for the upcoming season? People have talked about Ratu Mafileo still being in play if his grades check out, but I did a tally and counted 84 scholarships assuming everyone makes it back. Would that possibly be what's holding up his offer?
Great kid, good athlete, he has come a long way in the last year we're just scratching the surface of what he can become. I could easily see him becoming a starter after next season if he continues to improve.
@rgyle What a perfect learning situation coming in behind Mariota. Has the capability to distribute the football beautifully, and he's intelligent, processes information quickly. Ducks are looking at Jerret Stidham of Texas and Zach Gentry of New Mexico in the 2015 class.
@iiLuV2eaT Very talented, an Elite 11 prospect in his first year as a starter, a terrific passer with good mobility.
@BleedYellOGreeN Juju is a Trojan and will remain a Trojan. He would need a waiver to avoid sitting out a year even if he were to transfer to another school at this point, and there's no indication he's considering that. The unfinished business for Oregon centers around defensive tackle Ratu Malfileo, who is getting his transcripts reviewed by the NCAA clearinghouse. If he were to get approved he'd be likely to gray shirt at this point.
Just prior to Signing Day there was serious momentum for Smith to become a Duck, but his family wanted him closer to home. Oregon will go forward with Jalen Brown and Charles Nelson at receiver, and both have the potential to become good players.
@SonomaDuck The two most typical windows for transfers are January and after Spring Ball when kids get a chance to see the depth chart and practice rotation. A little attrition, two or three players, is normal. Ducks are most likely to lose one receiver and one quarterback, but nothing has been said. I'm sure the coaches would like to retain everybody, but many athletes want a chance to to start and feel transferring is best for their future. Too early to meaningfully speculate on names.
@atvinton Mafileo is likely to gray shirt. It's a review of transcripts that's holding up his scholarship offer, in the hands of the glacial, arbitrary minions of the NCAA clearinghouse.
@jasart Agree, jas. If he gets a little bigger and keeps working, he can be very good. Has a great foundation--supportive parents and terrific tutoring from Will Hewlett, his quarterback coach.
Stud QB for sure. Impressive! Two PAC-12 QB's back to back years from the same high school. Come on, you have to give the program and the high school coach credit.