Justin Herbert (born March 10, 1998) is an American football quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oregon and was drafted by the Chargers in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Justin Herbert was born on March 10, 1998, later attending Sheldon High School in Eugene, Oregon where he lettered in varsity football, basketball, and baseball. As a senior, he passed for 3,130 yards and 37 touchdowns with 543 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns and was named 1st Team All-State and the Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Herbert grew up 10 minutes from Autzen Stadium and has been a Duck fan since he was a child. His grandfather, Rich Schwab, played receiver at Oregon in the 1960s.
Herbert suffered a broken leg in the third game of his junior season at Eugene's Sheldon High School. His broken leg complicated his recruitment process and initially no major programs offered a scholarship as a result. Northern Arizona, Portland State, and Montana State all extended offers before Nevada and Oregon followed up with his only FBS offers. Herbert committed to his hometown Ducks on October 9, 2015.
Entering his true freshman season listed as QB2 on the depth chart, Herbert became the first true freshman at Oregon to start at Quarterback since Chris Miller in 1983 when the Ducks took on arch-rival Washington on October 8, 2016. Despite setting or equaling Oregon's single-game records for total offensive yards (512), passing yards (489), and touchdown passes (6), the Ducks finished with their worst season in 25 years, going 4–8 and failing to make a bowl game for the first time in over a decade.
Herbert became the starting quarterback after the fifth game of the season and showcased his talents throwing for 1,936 yards including 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions in eight starts and led a come-from-behind upset at #11 Utah with four touchdowns in the final 15:27 of the game to overcome a 14–3 deficit. On the final drive, he completed 6-of-9 passes for 63 yards with a 17-yard game-winning TD pass with two seconds left.
The Ducks entered the 2017 season with a new head coach Willie Taggart after Oregon fired Mark Helfrich following the 2016 season. Leading the Ducks to a 4–1 start, Herbert's transition from the Chip Kelly/Mark Helfrich era “Blur Offense” to Taggart's “Gulf Coast Offense” was successful before he fractured his collarbone against Cal on September 30, 2017.
Without Herbert in the lineup, the Ducks dropped four of their next five games, and the offense went from averaging 49.2 points per game to just 15.0 points per game. Herbert returned to help the Ducks win their last two regular season games to become bowl eligible. The Ducks were selected to play Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl but their performance fell flat and the Ducks lost 38–28 after head coach Willie Taggart left the team to become the head coach at Florida State a week before their bowl game.
In 8 starts, Herbert had a 6–2 record and threw for 1,983 yards on 139-of-206 passing attempts (67.5%), including 15 touchdowns against only five interceptions. He also rushed the ball 44 times for 183 yards and five touchdowns. Herbert was named first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American with a 4.08 grade-point average in biology.
Herbert entered his third collegiate season as an early Heisman Trophy candidate despite being coached by a third different head coach as well as navigating his third different offensive scheme with new head coach Mario Cristobal transitioning from the spread offense to the pistol offense. Herbert led the Ducks to a 9–4 record and a victory in the Redbox Bowl. He finished the year with 3,151 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns. His 31 total touchdowns were good for second in the Pac-12 Conference behind Washington State's Gardner Minshew. He was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first-team.
On December 26, 2018, Herbert announced that he would return to Oregon for his senior season. He led his team to a 12–2 record and to a win in the Rose Bowl, in which he won the Offensive MVP award. In addition to his on-field success, Herbert was named the 30th recipient of The William V. Cambell Trophy. For winning this award, which is referred to as the "Academic Heisman," Herbert was honored during the 2020 College Football Playoff National Title Game.
Awards and honors
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) – October 31, 2016
- Manning Award Quarterback of the Week – November 3, 2016
- Len Casanova Award (Oregon Team Award – Best First Year Player)
- Pac-12 Academic All-Conference 1st Team
- Academic All American 1st Team
- Offensive Team MVP (Oregon Team Award)
- Google Cloud Academic All America 1st Team Member of the Year
- Pac-12 All-Academic 1st team
- Skeie's Award (Oregon Team Award – Most Valuable Player)
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) – October 21, 2019
- William V. Campbell Trophy
- Rose Bowl Offensive MVP
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6 ft 6 ⁄4 in
|32 ⁄8 in
|4.68 s||4.46 s||7.06 s||35.5 in
|10 ft 3 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|