In the Ducks' 2011 recruiting class, Oregon fans were overjoyed when Florida quarterback Jarrard Randall committed to the Ducks. Few paid attention when two more quarterbacks committed a couple weeks later. Randall didn't qualify and, around a brief stint at LSU, he has bounced around junior college programs.
All that the other two quarterbacks have done is lead their respective programs to a pair of blowout wins in BCS games as redshirt freshman. One of them -- Johnny Manziel -- was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. The other is well on his way to becoming one of the best in a long line of talented Oregon quarterbacks. As a skinny kid that didn't start until his senior high school season, not many Oregon fans so batted an eyelash when Marcus Mariota committed to the Ducks.
While having a quarterback come in with just one year of experience is not the ideal situation, certain players have enough talent to make it possible.
After a second unofficial visit to Eugene in the past two months, Morgan Mahalak (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) could become the next talented, but inexperienced quarterback to join the Oregon program.
"It was a great visit. I've already seen everything, but it was great to get up there again," Mahalak said. "I had the chance to sit down and talk to coach Helfrich and talk to the other coaches as well. The game speaks for itself. Nothing has changed and the offense was great all day with Marcus leading the way."
While the offense, the weather, the coaches and the atmosphere surrounding the game were all memorable moments for the Marin Catholic star, the family feel of the program and the family connections to the area have all helped push Oregon to the top of his wish list.