Photo courtesy of Oregon athletics

Who is Tyler Shough?

Shough is Oregon’s heir to Justin Herbert’s quarterback spot heading into 2020. Herbert passed for nearly 3,500 yards and 32 touchdowns last season while leading the Ducks to a Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl victory.

Herbert was taken No. 6 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, but expectations aren’t any lower with him gone. Head coach Mario Cristobal and Oregon fans alike are excited about what Shough brings to the table.

“I can’t emphasize enough how fired up we are about Tyler,” Cristobal said of his quarterback.

Shough comes from an elite football factory at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. Shough was the seventh-ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite, making him an elite-level talent. He was a finalist for The Opening and the Elite 11 competitions.

Background

Shough was an elite competitor on the high school level. Also, Shough was able to generate national buzz as a recruit out of the state of Arizona. He gathered offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and others before ultimately signing with Oregon.

During his senior season, he amassed over 3,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. That was compared to just five interceptions. Furhtermore, his high school career numbers are just as impressive. Shough put up 5,150 yards passing, 57 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 24 games.

His Competition

Shough isn’t likely going to be handed the keys to the Ferrari without fighting for it. Oregon received the services of graduate transfer Anthony Brown from Boston College.

Subsequently, that adds on to the deep quarterback room. That rooms consists of the likes of Jay Butterfield, Cale Millen and Robby Ashford. Nevertheless, after spring practices concluded, Cristobal named Shough the starter at that point.

It’ll be interesting to see if Brown can learn the offense and get it down given the limited time with the team. Even if that’s the case, it seems like Shough’s job to lose.

One and The Same

Shough has looked nearly perfect in the limited action he’s seen on the field since arriving in Eugene. However, there’s always something to work on no matter how good you are. For Shough, Oregon would love to see him work on his speed, which he has been. He’s a lot more visually confident than Herbert was.

Speaking of, Shough and Herbert were compared by Oregon wide receiver Bryan Addison as being “two of the same”, noting the similarities between Shough and the No. 6 overall pick. In other words, Shough is very poised for his age and comes off as a veteran presence even as a sophomore. Last offseason, Shough put on 10 pounds of muscle. He’s been in the weight room just as much this year.

Expectations

Duck fans are insanely high on Shough; some even go as far as to say that quarterback play will improve in 2020. That doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

Herbert was great, but sometimes lacked consistency. If Shough can be 75 percent of Herbert at all times, then Oregon may be poised for a College Football Playoff run behind the new signal caller and that elite defense. The only prior playoff appearance came in 2014 with Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota behind center.