If you want to replace a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in the lineup, showing up a few days late for fall camp isn’t the way you want to start. But in the case of Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams, he at least has a good reason. He squares away his undergraduate studies before turning his full attention to Eugene, Oregon.
We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning athletes in Oregon and emailed sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 25 state players to watch on a list we will update here.
Adams, one of the most prolific FCS players in recent memory, figures to compete with Jeff Lockie for the Ducks’ starting quarterback job. Whoever wins out will have big shoes to fill, to say the least, but the Ducks overflow with talent as well as expectations. Putting last year’s 42-20 national title game loss out of their memories plays as a top priority. Perhaps the man with the most eyes on him at Eugene is senior defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who’s up for nearly every defensive player award in the nation.
Of course, you can’t mention Oregon athletes-to-watch and forget about the track and field performers. One runner, Matthew Maton, put his name in the history books when he became only the sixth high schooler to break a four-minute mile. Out in Corvallis, Oregon State has the best returning college basketball player—in Gary Payton II—according to www.valueaddbasketball.com, and with Corvallis starting to become home to a potential women’s hoops power in Oregon State, basketball may be well worth the price of admission in the upcoming season.
- DeForest Buckner, Oregon, Football, DE
- Thomas Tyner, Oregon, Football, RB
- Matthew Maton, Oregon HS, Track, 1mile
- Gary Payton II, Oregon State, Basketball, G
- Devon Allen, Oregon, Football/Track, ATH
- Chris Brewer, Oregon, Track, 1mile
- Jordan Bell, Oregon, Basketball, F
- Ruth Hamblin, Oregon State, Women’s Basketball, C
- Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon, Softball,
- Vernon Adams and Jeff Lockie (tie), Oregon, Football, QB
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon, Basketball, SF
- Sydney Wiese, Oregon State, Women’s Basketball, G
- Chris Boucher, Oregon, Basketball, SF
- Payton Pritchard, West Linn (West Linn, OR), Basketball, G
- Jillian Alleyne, Oregon, Women’s Basketball, F
- Jamie Weisner, Oregon State, Women’s Basketball, G
- Caitlyn Wong, Oregon, Women’s Soccer, Midfielder
- Alec Wintering, Portland, Basketball, PG
- Drew Rasmussen, Oregon State, Baseball, SP
- KJ Harrison, Oregon State, Baseball, 1B
Others Receiving Votes:
Dylan Ennis, Oregon, Basketball, SF
Tyler Dorsey, Oregon, Basketball, SG
Andrew Moore, Oregon State, Baseball, P
Jeff Hendrix, Oregon State, Baseball, OF
Elgin Cook, Oregon, Basketball, PF