A new Oregon quarterback could be coming from the same place where the Ducks’ current starter emerged: The Football Championship Subdivision’s Big Sky Conference.

Three weeks after Montana State dual-threat quarterback Dakota Prukop completed a 5-6 season in which he scored a combined 39 touchdowns, Prukop will visit Oregon this weekend as he contemplates how to spend his final season of eligibility, he told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound passer from Austin, Texas, Prukop is on schedule to graduate this fall from MSU and said he will be available to take part in spring practices should he use the NCAA’s graduate transfer exception rule.

“I’m putting myself in position to have options and I’m going to entertain that,” he said. “The biggest thing is the advice I’ve gotten from all my mentors is to do what’s best for me. That’s the biggest driving force.”

Prukop rushed for 797 yards (5.0 per carry) and 11 touchdowns this season and completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 3,025 yards and 28 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. In 2014, Prukop’s first season as the Bobcats starter, he rushed for 13 touchdowns and completed 67 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Prukop has contacted other schools to gauge their interest, he said, in the wake of a staff shake-up in Bozeman. MSU fired Rob Ash on Nov. 23 after nine seasons. In an interview with FOX Sports, Prukop said he has permission to speak with Texas and TCU — Oregon’s Alamo Bowl opponent on Jan. 2.

“It’s almost like fresh start for a coaching staff here, I’d learn a fresh offense,” Prukop said. “At the same time, I could have the option of learning a new offense somewhere else.”

New MSU coach Jeff Choate, a former Washington assistant, has retained three assistants and hired another to his first staff, but Tim Cramsey — Prukop’s position coach and offensive coordinator — was not among the first group.

As a former New Hampshire quarterback from 1995-98 and coach from 2003-10, Cramsey overlapped with former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who’d arrived as UO’s offensive coordinator in 2007.

After the departure of Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost to Central Florida to become a first-time head coach, Oregon has a void to fill at play caller, though receivers coach Matt Lubick is considered the favorite to earn a promotion. Cramsey is seen by several sources as a potential candidate for a new quarterbacks coach if Oregon decides to hire from the outside.

“I’ve been extremely happy with coach Cramsey,” Prukop said. “He took a chance on me and believes in me. The reason he’s had such great success is he gets his players to play extremely, extremely hard for him.”

Prukop’s decision to weigh his options — news of his impending visit was first reported by Duck Territory and Skyline Sports — goes beyond MSU’s coaching staff, he acknowledged. As the most efficient passer in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season, Ducks quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., a transfer from Eastern Washington, has provided something of a best-case scenario model for the rare FCS-to-FBS move.

“Definitely Vernon doing that at the school is great to see,” Prukop said. “I know what kind of caliber player he is and I could have told you a year and a half ago what kind of player he is. He’s a lot of fun to play against.”

TCU’s interest adds another layer of intrigue to the bowl game between the Ducks and Horned Frogs. Prukop’s father, Tim, is a former college assistant who coached with Patterson at several stops and remains close to the TCU head coach: He and his wife, Lisa, are on the advisory committee of Patterson’s foundation.

— Andrew Greif
[email protected]
@andrewgreif

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