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Oregon Ducks Football: Darron Thomas Bolts for NFL, Bryan Bennett Era Begins

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducks is looking to pass while taking on the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2012

Last night, Oregon fans received some news that nobody saw coming or even wondered if it was coming. Last night, Darron Thomas decided that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Mostly, this decision had to have been based off of all the junior quarterbacks that were returning. Thomas saw this as an opportunity to improve his stock as best as possible and also felt that over the past two years, people got to see what he could bring to an NFL team.

Until the draft and possibly after, fans will question this choice and wonder why Thomas would make it. Some will even go as far as to criticize Thomas and start to diminish what he did. 

I am not one of those people.

Thomas only lost three games while at Oregon and led the Ducks to a period of time like fans had never seen before. He is the product of a single-parent family and could be ready to provide for his mother as a way to say thank you for everything she had done.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter why Thomas did it because nobody other than Darron is in charge of his life and he has to make the choices that are best for him.

While Thomas did leave, the Ducks were not left empty-handed. The Ducks will now turn to Bryan Bennett, who saw about two games of game action last year and impressed.

Bennett stepped in during the Arizona State game and came up big, leading the Ducks to a huge win. He then started the next week against Colorado and came in to spark a sluggish Oregon offense against Washington State.

At the end of the day, fans need to be thanking Thomas for his contributions to the Oregon program while at the same time being excited at the prospect of what Bennett can now do for this program.


Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.

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