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Oregon State Football: Quarterbacks Preview 2018

Jake Luton returns from a major injury to be the signal caller for the Beavers.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Personnel

  • Jake Luton (SR)
  • Nick Moore (R-FR)
  • Jack Colletto (SO)
  • Conor Blount (R-SO)
  • Aidan Willard (R-FR)
  • Jake Dukart (FR)
  • Mason Moran (R-SO) *

* Moran may move around the field a bit, but has quarterbacking experience.

Definitely/Could Be Gone

Marcus McMaryion and Darell Garretson: Garretson graduated after a few years of being the guy off and on between coaches’ indecision and player injuries. It wasn’t always pretty, but Garretson left it all out there. McMaryion transferred to Fresno State last year and seems to be thriving. He’s missed around Corvallis as well.

New To The Mix

Nick Moore, Jack Colletto, Jake Dukart: Of this group, Colletto holds the best chance to see significant time on the field immediately. A former Washington state champion in high school, the dual threat QB transfers in from Arizona Western this year after throwing 548 yards and four touchdowns as the number two guy last season. He also ran for 185 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns in 2017.

Nick Moore, the younger brother of former OSU QB Matt Moore, is unlikely to see the field in a game this season after transferring in from Eastern Washington. Jake Dukart, a Lake Oswego product, is a three-start quarterback as rated by 247 sports. He was once a combo football/baseball player, but has since decided to focus on football. Both Moore and Dukart have plenty of talent, but will have to wait their turn for a shot at field time.

Who Will Start?

Jake Luton: This job is Luton’s to lose, it’s just a matter of whether or not he stays healthy. Luton’s spinal injury in 2017 sidelined him in week four, but he was the guy with 853 yards on 83 completions with four touchdowns and four interceptions. The big question will be if he can stay healthy.

If he can’t go, the backup job is still up for grabs. Conor Blount has experience playing QB for the Beavs and threw a pair of touchdowns in this year’s spring game. Jack Colletto comes in with plenty of talent and is a proven runner if protection collapses. Mason Moran also provides some versatility to the position after playing some safety and wideout for the Beavs.

What To Expect?

Cautious optimism: I’d be surprised if Luton was not the definitive guy. But serious back injuries like his are hard to bounce back from at full strength. Plus, there are plenty of questions surrounding the rest of the offensive roster. That backup battle is particularly intriguing especially since it has implications for this season as well as the next several seasons of Oregon State football.

A quarterback himself, this is something of a specialty for Jonathan Smith. He did great work with Jake Browing at Washington and also at Boise State, Montana, and Idaho. If it doesn’t come together this year, expect the young guys in that QB room to progress into great quarterbacks.

Stay tuned for more 2018 Oregon State football position previews!