Tigers’ football adopts a duck

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By Christian Lopez

It has been a bumpy road, but the future is bright for Travis Jonsen.

Jonsen, a transfer from the University of Oregon, is one of a string of quarterbacks to transfer to Riverside City College over the years looking to leave their mark on its football program. 

 A once sought after recruit, Jonsen was a two year starter at Servite High School out of Anaheim, California. Although he posted a 10-13 record while under center, Jonsen found ways to make plays with both his arm and his legs, posting 26 touchdowns passing and 26 touchdowns rushing, according to Maxpreps. Jonsen had his best game in his two year tenure against Edison High School during his senior year where he posted 306 yards passing to go along with four touchdowns through the air and an additional 48 yards on the ground. 

As a four-star recruit and the number three dual-threat quarterback in the nation according to Rivals.com, Jonsen had his pick of the litter on where he wanted to attend college. Jonsen eventually chose the University of Oregon for what seemed like a match made in heaven.

He joined a semester early to get a headstart on the offense and the quarterback competition. Despite showing promise in his first spring game, Oregon elected to go with East Washington University transfer Vernon Adams for the 2015-16 season. Jonsen suffered a major setback towards the end of fall camp when he aggravated a turf toe injury he sustained in high school, forcing him to redshirt his first year. 

After spending the 2015-16 season rehabbing his turf toe and learning the offense from the sidelines, Jonsen got his chance to make a run at the starting job.

At the start of spring practice, Jonsen was in a quarterback battle with Montana State University transfer Dakota Prukop and incoming freshmen Justin Herbert and Terry Wilson.

In his second spring game Jonsen showed signs of growth while passing and running for a touchdown. Throughout fall camp it was believed that the frontrunners for the starting job were Prukop and Jonsen with no clear separation between the two. At the conclusion of fall camp however, Jonsen had tumbled down the depth chart to fourth string quarterback. In just his second year at Oregon, Jonsen was at a crossroads in his young career. He can either go somewhere where he will get more playing time or stay at Oregon and ride with the team the whole season. In the end, Jonsen chose to stick with his fellow teammates and football program.

At the conclusion of the 2016-17 season and after the firing of head coach Mark Helfrich, Jonsen’s loyalty to Oregon was rewarded when newly hired head coach Willie Taggart announced that all positions were up for grabs. With a new head coach and a new offense to fit his game, Jonsen had his sights set on the starting job once again. With Wilson out of the picture due to transfer, Jonsen moved up to second string quarterback to battle Herbert for the starting position. After Herbert outperformed Jonsen over the course of two spring games it became clear that his time at Oregon may come to an end. Jonsen soon announced his decision to transfer and eventually revealed that RCC would be his destination.

Jonsen would quickly learn that RCC would present a different landscape than that of Oregon

”Tough, mentally tough, and physical you know, (the) coach just put us through some very hard work” said Jonsen “It’s kinda hard you know we go full games and some teams can’t and they prepare us very well for that.”

Back in California, on a new team and in a new school, Travis Jonsen finds himself with the fresh start he needs. With a powerhouse football program by his side, the former four-star recruit will be looking to show the masses and himself why he was one of the top quarterbacks in his recruiting class.

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