Former Oregon high school quarterback turns into NFL star

Riley Daniels, Staffer

On Sept. 20, 19 million people tuned in to watch rookie quarterback Justin Herbert make his debut. Herbert was given the task of taking on the Kansas City Chiefs, widely regarded as the best team in the NFL. 

Growing up in Eugene, Oregon, Herbert attended Sheldon High School. In his junior year, he made 1st Team All State. However, his senior season was cut short due to a broken leg. Due to his injury, Herbert was only offered two NCAA Division 1-A scholarships. One was the University of Oregon, while the other was the University of Nevada. 

Ultimately, Herbert decided he wanted to play for his hometown team, the Oregon Ducks. Heading into his junior year, Herbert was elected to be the starting quarterback. He had extremely high expectations. The Ducks were good, but not great. He decided to stay another year. In his senior year, Herbert led the Ducks to a 12-2 record, beating the University of Wisconsin in the 2019 Rose Bowl. Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft as a projected top pick, The Los Angeles Chargers drafted him with the 6th overall pick.

 In the second week of the season, Herbert earned the opportunity to start. He would pass for 311 yards and get a rushing touchdown, being only one of six quarterbacks to ever pass for over 300 yards in their debut. Although Herbert and the Chargers lost 23-20 in overtime, Herbert looked excellent, showing hints of what is yet to come. Two weeks later, Herbert had another great performance. He threw for 290 yards along with three touchdowns in a 38-31 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The next week, Herbert made history. On October 12, Herbert became the only rookie to pass for four touchdowns in a Monday Night Football game. The Chargers lost to the New Orleans Saints 38-31 in overtime, but Herbert made his mark in the NFL. 

In week seven , Herbert was named NFL Rookie of the Week. This came a few days after Herbert passed for an astonishing 347 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also showed off his speed, rushing for 66 yards and a touchdown. A 39-29 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was Herbert’s first win in the NFL. He was also named the NFL Rookie of the Month after passing for ten touchdowns to only one interception. 

Although the Chargers only have two wins from nine games, Herbert has shown excellence in every game. He is on pace for 36 touchdowns, breaking the record for passing touchdowns in a season by a rookie of 27. He is also on track to be the only rookie to average 300 passing yards a game. He currently holds the second highest completion percentage by a rookie ever. Because of all of his amazing stats and performances, Herbert is projected to win NFL Rookie of the Year with Vegas Odds of +100. If he keeps performing like this, Herbert could go down as one of the best NFL quarterbacks to ever play.