At this point, many signs seem to be pointing toward the idea that quarterback Bo Nix will return to Eugene for another year with the Oregon Ducks in 2023.
It has already been confirmed that he will play in the Holiday Bowl vs. North Carolina, which is not something that many players do if they are set to enter the NFL Draft. Often times, a player that is done with his collegiate career will opt out of bowl games and choose instead to get ready for the NFL combine rather than play in an exhibition that offers more opportunity to hurt his career, rather than help it.
However, we still aren't 100% certain on whether or not Nix will return for his final year of collegiate eligibility with the Ducks. While many signs point to it, we can't know for sure until the announcement is made.
So for argument's sake, let's say that Nix does end up declaring for the draft and saying that his college career is over. What happens then?
Who plays quarterback for Oregon in 2023 if Nix is not in the picture?
That is certainly a big question to answer, and one that will have major ramifications on how competitive the Ducks are next season. We took a look a few options, should the situation arise where Nix is not in the picture.
Dante Moore (5-star Recruit)
The best case scenario for the Ducks in 2023 if Nix didn't return to Eugene would be if true freshman QB Dante Moore was ready to play instantly. However, that seems like a stretch to think that he would have an instant impact, even though he is a 5-star recruit and the No. 2 QB in the 2023 class. He may be good enough to play as a freshman, but I think that the expectations for Oregon would be lowered if Moore was the starter next September.
Ty Thompson (Oregon Ducks)
It has been projected all season that Oregon's sophomore quarterback Ty Thompson is going to hit the transfer portal this offseason. After coming to Eugene as the highest-rated QB commit in school history, Thompson has yet to get his chance to shine, losing to both Anthony Brown and Bo Nix in QB competitions. Are we sure he's going to leave, though? Thompson hasn't entered his name in the portal just yet (as of the night of December 6) and there's still a possibility that he remains with the Ducks and tries to win the starting job over whoever is in Eugene at the start of the 2023 season.
Hudson Card (Texas Longhorns)
It's portal season, and that means we can look to outside players who might potentially choose to come to Eugene to play for the Ducks. Hudson Card is certainly a player that could fit the bill, having played for new offensive coordinator Will Stein at high school in Texas. Could that be enough reason for Card to transfer to Oregon to compete for the starting job?
As a former 4-star recruit, the No. 2 dual-threat QB and No. 59 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, Card certainly has the upside. He's thrown for 11 touchdowns and 2 INT in his three years at Texas.
D.J. Uiagalelei (Clemson Tigers)
D.J. Uiagalelei is an interesting name to keep an eye on for a number of reasons. For starters, he is a former 5-star recruit - the No. 1 QB and No. 2 player in the nation in the 2020 class - and he considered the Oregon Ducks coming out of high school. While he's had some highs and lows in his three years at Clemson - Uiagalelei had 14 TD and 10 INT in his first two years, but threw for 22 TD and 7 INT this season - he is still a talented player with a high ceiling.
On top of that, there is the Matayo Uiagalelei situation to keep an eye on. D.J.'s younger brother is a 5-star DE rated as the No. 10 player in the 2023 class, and he is considering the Ducks in his recruitment. It's believed that the two could end up going to the same school next year. Might that be at Oregon? It feels like a longshot, but shouldn't be completely ruled out.
An Unknown Answer
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To be completely honest, it is still very early days in the transfer portal, and there will be a ton of names to enter until things close in January. There's a good chance that names pop up in the portal that could consider coming to the Ducks, should the QB situation be unresolved. It's important to stay up to date on who is out there.
What I think will Happen
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
My strong assumption is that Bo Nix is going to return for another season with the Ducks. I am not currently able to officially report that, but based on what I've heard from people inside the program, on top of the fact that Nix will be playing in Oregon's bowl game at the end of the month, I think the chances that he leads the Ducks into the 2023 season is high. We will likely know for sure in the coming weeks.
Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire