Beavers head coach Gary Andersen announced Tuesday that Jake Luton, a junior college transfer, has been given the starting job entering the 2017 season ahead of McMaryion and Garretson. The 6-foot-7, 234-pound Luton put up huge numbers — 3,551 yards and 40 touchdowns — in his lone season at Ventura Community College, earning JUCO All-American honors.
Luton, who arrived in Corvallis in January (and overcame a mysterious illness), began his career at Idaho before opting to transfer. He redshirted for the Vandals in 2014 before appearing in five games, including two starts, in 2015. In those games he threw for 383 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions while completing 62.8 percent of his passes.
After going 2-10 in Andersen’s first season, 2015, the Beavers improved to 4-8 last year, winning three Pac-12 games in the process. All the while, the team struggled tremendously with its passing attack.
Garretson, a Utah State transfer, began 2016 as the starter. He started the first six games of the season and threw for 617 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions before suffering a broken leg against Utah. McMaryion, who actually began the year as the No. 3 QB behind Garretson and walk-on Conor Blount (who was also injured against Utah and is expected to redshirt), started the final six games and had better numbers: 1,286 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.
McMaryion was the starter when the Beavers picked up wins over Arizona and rival Oregon to close out the regular season. Against the Wildcats, McMaryion completed 16-of-19 passes for 265 yards and five touchdowns.
Andersen didn’t specify Tuesday who would be the No. 2 behind Luton on the depth chart.
Luton will make his Oregon State debut on Aug. 26 when the Beavers travel to Colorado State in the opening of the Rams’ new stadium.
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