It is hard to argue that any Ducks' quarterback has been more successful than Darron Thomas. His 66 career touchdown passes rank first in Oregon history. His 5,910 passing yards are good for seventh in program history. And he finished sixth in Ducks’ history with 6,633 yards of total offense. Thomas, who accounted for 71 touchdowns in two seasons as the starter, is one of only three quarterbacks in conference history with two seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes (Matt Leinart, Andrew Luck). He led the Ducks to back-to-back Pac-12 championships, its first-ever trip to the BCS National Championship game and wrapped his Duck career by earning the school’s second-ever Rose Bowl Championship.
As the No. 1 running back prospect in the nation, Stewart came to Eugene as one of the most high profile recruits to ever sign with Oregon. Despite only carrying the football 53 times as a freshman, Stewart scored nine total touchdowns while leading the nation in kick returns (33.7). He took over the starting role as a sophomore and rushed for 981 yards and 10 scores. As a junior, Stewart set the Oregon single-season rushing record with 1,722 yards. He scored 13 touchdowns that season, and he shattered the single-season all-purpose record with 2,481 yards (1,944 had been the previous mark). He left after this monster season and was the 13th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Smith might be able to claim the single-best passing season in school history after capping his brief Oregon career with 3,763 yards and 32 TDs in 1998 - both of which were school records. He earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors as well. Smith racked up 5,148 passing yards and 5,515 yards of total offense to go with 45 touchdowns in only two seasons of action. He flew up NFL Draft boards and was selected with the third overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Bengals.
Musgrave is recognized as the central figure responsible for intitating the most prosperous era in Oregon history. He set school records for passing yards (8,343) and total offense and remains one of six QBs in league history to throw for at least 8,000 yards and at least 60 TDs. In 1989, he led the Ducks to their first bowl appearance in 26 seasons. The first-team all-league honoree was selected in the fourth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by Dallas.
Oregon's 1972 MVP became the school's first QB to top the 2,000-yard mark in a single season. Fouts set no fewer than 19 Oregon school records, including total offense (5,871), passing yards (5,995) and touchdown passes (37). As a third round pick in the 1973 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Fouts went on to a stellar 14-year NFL career in which he passed for 43,040 yards and set an NFL record with 51 300-yard games.
Despite some swirling off-the-field issues, James has to be considered one of the greatest to ever carry the football for Oregon. He led the nation in 2010 in rushing at 144.3 yards per game, while helping the Ducks to their first-ever BCS National Championship game. In only two full seasons as the starter, James has rushed for 3,277 yards and 35 TDs. He added 34 catches for 376 yards and three more scores over that time. Despite what car he may or may not be driving, James' accomplishments speak for themselves: Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Heisman Finalist and the Doak Walker Award winner in 2010. His 1,731 yards and 21 TDs last fall were both school records for a single-season performance.
The premier offensive lineman in Oregon history - as well as one of the NFL's all-time greats - completed his collegiate career by being named the Pac-10's top offensive lineman his senior season. The NFL and Oregon Hall of Famer went to seven Pro Bowls and retired atop his profession after winning the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 1998.
Argubaly the most dominant defensive lineman in Oregon history, Ngata was the school's first consensus All-American in more than four decades. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy and won Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Pac-10 his junior (and final) season in Eugene. He was the first defensive lineman to be named team MVP in 18 seasons when Oregon named him their best player in 2005. He finished his career with 151 tackles and a school-record seven blocked kicks. When Ngata was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, he became the highest drafted D-lineman in school history. He is arguably the best defensive tackle in the world currently.
Few players will ever match the exploits of Moore, who changed his name to Ahmad Rashad when he converted to Islam. Rashad, who began his career as a wide receiver before being moved to running back, established single-game (249), single-season (1,211) and career (2,306) rushing records. He also set the single-season and career receptions benchmarks at the time with 54 and 131 catches respectively. He set no fewer than 14 school records and led the conference in scoring two years in a row - from two different positions. The All-American was selected with the fourth pick in the 1972 NFL Draft by St. Louis. Rashad was inducted into the NCAA Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
He graduated as one of the most prolific athletes in school history, becoming the Ducks' first Heisman Trophy finalist ever (finishing fourth). He ended his career third in school history in passing yards (6,911 yards), total offense(7,121 yards) and TD passes (59). The biggest legacy, however, for "Captain Comeback" was his ability to led his team to victory in the fourth quarter. He established an 11-2 record in games in which Oregon either trailed or was tied in the fourth quarter. He accounted for more total touchdowns (78) than any player in Oregon history and led the Ducks to the highest ranking in school history at the time (#2). He earned the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
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