Early indications from sources close to the Duck program tell us that Burmeister has earned better grades through practice this week. The only question left now is if the staff gives fifth year senior Taylor Alie some ‘credit’ for experience. At the point of this writing, all signs point to Braxton Burmeister as the starter, but the staff has been going back and forth; hence no official starter having been named.
From the outside, I like this move. We all know what Taylor Alie brings. If this were Georgia State - I would say go for it; but this is perhaps the second best team in the North Division of the PAac-12 and Alie just does not have the tools necessary to beat the Cougars. The safe play is the fifth year senior; the smart play is the player with more upside and potential. With the redshirt already on the sideline, what do the staff have to lose?
What about Royce and other injuries?
The early indications are that Royce will be ready to go - but Donte Pimplemton gave a pretty succinct answer as to why Darrian Felix played ahead of CJ Verdell; he was healthy and Verdell was not. The reality is that this is the one position in which the Ducks could afford an injury. As good as Freeman was early in the season, the depth at running back and the newfound power run game have put the Duck offense in a good position.
Sunday I said that sources though Freeman would be ready by Saturday and that still appears to be the case.
I was also told that Dillon Mitchell should be ready to go. That one is more touch and go. Don't be surprised if we see more of Alex Ofodile and Jaylon Redd this week. that's really too bad because Mitchell had become this seasons Darren Carrington and, unless Charles Nelson makes a miraculous recovery, the Ducks will need someone like Mitchell to be a threat beyond ten yards.
Recruiting Impact: Week 6
The Ducks hosted perhaps their second most important unofficial visitor of the season during the middle of the week. Duck Sports Authority will have a full update with Tyler Shough to come; but this was an important visit. The Ducks staff is leaving no stone unturned in their search for a 2018 QB commit. Lest anyone think that the Ducks are looking for Quinton Flowers clones – they are not.
From the onset of the Willie Taggart era, we have been telling you that this he is not looking to replicate the South Florida offense of 2016. That was an offense borne out of necessity not design. Willie Taggart would prefer Andrew Luck to Flowers. He wants a QB who can run – much like what Chip Kelly liked in quarterback play. That is where players like Cam rising and Tyler Shough come in.
I got a chance to watch Shough at The Opening and really saw some good things. Is he Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence? No. But that is what makes having someone like Marcus Arroyo on staff so critical. With the right development, Shough can be every bit the equal of Lawrence; he just needs some development and an opportunity.
Yes, he is committed to North Carolina, but there are a bunch of things favoring Oregon right now – not the least of which is distance. Many players have committed to programs facing NCAA sanctions; even some elite players have committed to programs under the cloud of sanctions, so that is less of a factor at the moment. Pay attention to AJ’s interview with Shough later; it is more likely to shed light on his potential for a flip..