Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. will play football next season at the University of Oregon, he said Monday morning via social media.
“Oregon it is! First off, I want to thank God for this amazing opportunity,” Adams said via Instagram, ending two weeks of speculation.
Neither Adams nor EWU coach Beau Baldwin was available for comment Monday morning.
Oregon’s interest in Adams surged a month ago, when Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, announced his intention to declare for the NFL draft. Lacking an experienced replacement for Mariota, the Oregon coaching staff has cast about for other candidates.
“I really thought it out,” Adams told The Spokesman-Review on Monday morning. “It’s not easy leaving Eastern, but definitely this is my dream, to play for the Ducks.”
In a statement issued Monday, EWU coach Beau Baldwin said, “I am very thankful for everything Vernon has done for Eastern and our football program these past four seasons. I wish him nothing but the best in his senior season.”
With Adams’ departure, the Eagles have only one returning quarterback with substantive college experience. Jordan West, who will be a redshirt junior next season, started four games last fall - winning three - when Adams was sidelined with a broken foot.
Baldwin went on to say, “We are very confident in the quarterbacks in our program, and our expectations and goals are the same for what we are capable of accomplishing in the 2015 season.”
Other returning quarterbacks at Eastern include redshirt sophomore Conner Richardson, and redshirt freshmen Reilly Hennessey and Gabe Gubrud.
In three years, Adams has thrown for 10,438 yards, 110 touchdowns and 31 interceptions, while helping EWU go 35-8 overall and 22-2 in the Big Sky. For the last two years, he has finished second in balloting for the Walter Payton award for the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
In 2013, Adams led the Eagles to a 49-46 upset win at Oregon State; last year, he threw seven touchdown passes in a 59-52 loss at Washington.
Adams, a redshirt junior, has only one year of eligibility, but is scheduled to graduate in June with a degree in recreation management. That would allow him to immediately.
Coincidentally, Eastern and Oregon will open the 2015 season against each other on Sept. 5.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.