Adams likely to join Ducks in progress
Vernon Adams can do the math.
The former Eastern Washington star knows there won’t be any more time to waste once he finishes the coursework for his undergraduate degree and enrolls in a graduate program at Oregon, where Adams plans to win the starting quarterback job for a one-and-done senior season with the Ducks.
Adams is currently taking a math class through the Community Education Program, which allows anyone to register for regular UO courses without formal admission. He expects to complete the course by Aug. 13 to fulfill the requirements for his EWU degree.
Oregon’s fall camp begins on Aug. 10.
“I’m probably going to be a couple days late,” Adams said during a phone interview with The Register-Guard on Friday night. “But I expect it to all work out. I’m real excited, just trying to stay focused with this class and getting ready to have fun playing football again.”
Adams marched during graduation ceremonies at Eastern Washington in June and then relocated to Eugene, but he’s not allowed to workout with his new teammates at Oregon’s facilities or participate in the strength-and-conditioning program.
“It’s tough learning by yourself,” said Adams, who has been studying his copy of the Oregon playbook since attending a week of spring practice. “I’ve been throwing with my roommates, running and working out on my own.”
Adams signed a financial-aid agreement with Oregon in February, shortly after the Ducks lost Heisman Trophy-winner Marcus Mariota to the NFL draft.
During a stellar three-year run at Eastern Washington, Adams threw for 10,438 yards, 110 touchdowns and 31 interceptions while completing 64.8 percent of his passes. That included 886 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in games against the Ducks’ primary rivals — Oregon State (during a 49-46 victory in 2013) and Washington (during a 59-52 loss in 2014).
Now the dynamic dual-threat quarterback will have to complete the math and beat out Jeff Lockie to finish his collegiate career as a starter. The 5-foot-11 signal-caller from Pasadena, Calif., still has dreams of leading the Ducks to another Pac-12 championship and berth in the College Football Playoff.
“That’s the plan,” Adams said. “I want to get out there, continue doing what I’m doing and continue working hard. I missed the summer workouts, so the main thing is to earn these guys’ trust and show them I can lead.”
During the spring, Lockie, who backed Mariota up the past two seasons, emerged as the leader of the pack ahead of Morgan Mahalak, Travis Jonsen, Taylor Alie and Ty Griffin. The redshirt junior recently participated in the Manning Passing Academy and has been leading 7-on-7 drills this summer.
“At this point, I’m not going to worry about something I have no control over,” Lockie said recently when asked about the possible addition to the fall camp audition. “I’m not sure when (Adams) will be here or what it’s going to be like when he gets here.
“We’ve all spoken about it as a quarterback unit. We’re all going to have a shot at this thing. I think we’ll just compete as best we can in the fall and take it from there.”
Oregon opens the season against Eastern Washington on Sept. 5 at Autzen Stadium.