Ty Thompson got a real look this offseason as the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks. Oregon had a legitimate competition at the spot and made Bo Nix, a transfer in from Auburn, earn the job. Nothing was handed out.

The second-year freshman Thompson became the highest-ranked quarterback recruit to ever sign with the Ducks in the 2021 class. He played just three games as a true freshman. Many wanted to see Thompson get his shot to run the offense, particularly after the Ducks disappointed in their opener against Georgia.

But Nix has really taken hold of the offense and has the Ducks operating at a very high level. As such, Thompson has been relegated to mop-up duty.

Still, he has more appearances and more pass attempts through six weeks this season than he did in 14 games last season.

“I know he would love to have some moments back, but I think he’s done some good things too,” coach Dan Lanning said on Tuesday. “He made some really good run checks this past game. He was able to assess what the defensive lineup was in. He looked really good in practice today and did some good things today in practice. Continue to be excited about his development.

“I talk to our players as a whole — not Ty, the entire team — if you’re the same player you were in Week 1 right now, shame on you. We should be better. Ty’s a guy that’s getting better. You guys don’t always see all the work. You only see the game film, right? We see all the work in practice and every one of our players, we want to see them continue to develop.”

Thompson has thrown 18 passes so far. He’s completed 10 of them for 80 yards, no scores, and two interceptions. There have been some freshman moments, but he’s also flashed some of his potential in spots.

He threw four passes against Arizona for 9 yards. At this point in the season, given the way Nix is playing, Thompson is the “close it out” guy. That should afford him the opportunity to just continue to develop, continue to learn from Nix — who has a wealth of experience after spending three years in the SEC — and continue to improve.