Dan Lanning had a quarterback competition to worry about last spring — his first at Oregon. He doesn’t have any such controversy this time around.

It seems almost silly to think about it now knowing what Oregon fans do — that Nix blossomed into a legitimate Heisman contender in his first season with the Ducks — but Lanning and his new coaching staff gave a very real look to then-second-year freshman Ty Thompson in the spring. They wanted to see what they had. And few outside of Eugene believed Nix could turn in the season he did in 2022.

But he did. And he returns for 2023 hoping for bigger and better things. There is no quarterback competition, no controversy. With that, though, might come more opportunity for those behind Nix.

The Ducks held their first practice of the spring period on Thursday. The quarterback room features three scholarship throwers — Nix, Thompson, and true freshman Austin Novosad.

“You’ve got to do a combination of both as a coach — you’ve got to be smart, but the only way you get better at playing football is playing football, right? So you don’t go out there and not practice to get better,” Lanning said Thursday when asked about the plan for Nix this spring. “So we have to be conscientious of our reps. We’re like that with every single position. But that’s where we lean on our medical staff and people that are in this organization to point us in the right direction.”

Nix is entering his fifth year of college ball. He has a bit of an injury history the staff will keep in the back of their minds. But Nix is also a competitor.

“I think competition breeds excellence. And I think right now, Bo and Ty would both tell you that they’re out there competing every single day,” Lanning said. “Certainly having another year in our system and how we operate has made both those guys a lot more comfortable. I’m really happy with how they’re both performing and how they performed today.”

Expect Novosad to get a bit more work here in the spring than he does during preseason camp in the fall. Early impressions seem to be good.

“I think he’s really smart, and I think that shows in the way he attacks each day,” Lanning said. “I know he wants a couple plays back today, and I know he’s gonna be a guy that cares enough that he’s gonna learn from it. Excited about his progress. He throws a tight spiral and does a good job with the ball but he needs to deliver it in the right location a few more times.”

You can hear more from Lanning below: