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EWU coach Beau Baldwin counsels star QB Vernon Adams on transfer possibility


Vernon Adams Jr. to Oregon is a no-brainer, right?

Only if you aren’t using your head, Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin said Wednesday afternoon.

Three days after his All-America quarterback returned from a recruiting trip to the University of Oregon, Baldwin said Adams still hasn’t decided whether he’ll stay in Cheney for his senior year or play for the Ducks.

Adams won’t make that decision until next week at the earliest, Baldwin said as he prepared to unveil this year’s EWU recruiting class to boosters at Northern Quest Resort & Casino.

“We’re going to talk about it on Monday, because I want him to decompress from that trip,” Baldwin said.

At that point, Baldwin and Adams will revisit the pros and cons of a transfer to national power Oregon, which is seeking a quarterback to replace Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.

“It’ll be sooner rather than later,” said Baldwin, who said he doesn’t want Adams’ situation to be a distraction through winter conditioning and the run-up to spring ball.

“We’re definitely not trying to drag this out for weeks,” Baldwin said.

But neither will it be a snap decision. Adams seemed to confirm as much this week. On Tuesday, he sent a message to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson – also a transfer – asking, “What’s up bro, I need some advice.”

On Wednesday morning, as the Eagles were assembling their next group of recruits, Adams tweeted a poignant moment when he signed his letter of intent in 2011.

A few hours later, Adams confirmed to The Spokesman-Review via text message that he hasn’t made a final decision.

On the other hand, Adams gave a glowing account of his trip, according to a story posted Monday on

“Oregon was so good,” Adams said. “The facilities were off the chain. It was everything I expected it to be and 10 times more. I loved how the players were very family-oriented and how they all get along with one another.”

Adams also told that he will decide his future next week.

Graduate transfer quarterbacks have had mixed success. Wilson prospered after his transfer from North Carolina State to Wisconsin.

A year later, Wisconsin went back into the grad transfer market for Maryland’s Danny O’Brien, but he ended up throwing only 86 passes.

Last year, Jake Coker – Jameis Winston’s backup at Florida State in 2013 – transferred to Alabama. He didn’t have the benefit of spring ball, never caught up to returnee Blake Sims and never started a game.

“The outside public … it’s easy for them to use the term ‘no-brainer,’ but they’re not looking at everything,” Baldwin said. “That’s what cracks me up: the people who voice their opinions (through social media) and they don’t know all the details.”

Baldwin went on to shed light on a process that began almost two months ago, after the Eagles were eliminated from the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

At that time, Baldwin was the subject of rumors – mostly through social media – that he would be the next coach at Oregon State or elsewhere.

“In fairness to Vernon, he’s seeing things about me nonstop, that I’m leaving,” Baldwin said. “For a 22-year-old football player going into his senior year, it’s only natural that he’s saying to himself, “I want to have a plan and set myself up.”

Baldwin said that he and Adams discussed the possibility of a transfer in mid-December. Talks died down during the holidays but were rekindled in January. Baldwin said that over the past four years, he and Adams have built a trust that goes beyond wins and losses.

“At the end of the day, I want what’s best for that young man,” Baldwin said. “He’s done so much for our program, and I hope he does that much more in 2015.

After reciting the names of past Eagles who’ve declared early for the NFL draft, Baldwin said “We don’t get stressed about that – they all leave at some point.

“But what I do care about is that he has only one senior year, so we really have to think this thing through, to make sure it’s exactly right.”

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