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Vernon Adams is a quarterback without a team — for now

Halfway through the workout, the receiver calls for a break. “Let me catch my breath,” says Daniel Johnson, and for a few moments, he and Vernon Adams Jr. pause their organized game of catch. It is mild for this winter day on the northern edge of the Palouse, and when the sun was out earlier in the day, it was pleasant. But a chilly afternoon breeze arrived with the clouds, making the low 40s seem colder. A hundred yards away, a dozen teenagers play pickup soccer. A firefighter slowly jogs around the surrounding track. But except for Adams and Johnson, the middle school’s football field is empty.635609168943236706-XXX-FEATURE-ON-EASTERN-WASHINGTON-QB-VERNON-ADAMS-71176802-1-

“You got anybody else helping you?” Johnson asks Adams. “Who else do you have coming out?” “Nobody,” Adams says. Welcome to the new, if temporary reality for Adams. A few weeks after announcing he would transfer from Eastern Washington University to the University of Oregon, the record-setting college quarterback finds himself virtually on his own. If all goes according to plan, Adams will graduate in June with a degree in interdisciplinary studies — a switch in the last few days from recreational management — and move to Eugene, Ore., the next day.

But for now, for Adams, Cheney is Limbo. He says he’s not upset that Eastern Washington officials have denied him access to the athletic facilities and prevented him from working out with teammates. “It’s understandable,” Adams says. “We play each other Game 1, so …”

And that’s perhaps the most intriguing piece of a unique circumstance. Adams is a bona fide star at the FCS level — two-time Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year, two-time All-American, twice runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS’s top individual honor. He plans to move up to FBS power Oregon, immediately eligible as a graduate, and hopes to help the Ducks pick up where they left off after Marcus Mariota’s departure a year early for the NFL Draft. That alone makes it one of the quirkiest stories of college football’s offseason. Though graduate transfers have become fairly common in the last few years, with varied results — Russell Wilson’s move from North Carolina State to Wisconsin worked out pretty well, but so far Jacob Coker’s switch from Florida State to Alabama has not — Adams’ transfer comes with the added layer of moving up a division. And then, there’s the season opener. The Ducks host Eastern Washington on Sept. 5.

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