Justin Herbert will gladly embrace underdog mentality with LA Chargers

Jonathan Warner
NBC Sports Northwest

Justin Herbert has been a homebody for most of his life.

Born and raised in Eugene OR, Herbert didn't have to move far when he chose to stay close to home and play for the Ducks.

Last season, Herbert had the opportunity to potentially leave after his junior year and head for the NFL. With the numbers he had, Herbert could have easily gone in the 1st round in 2019 as he did Thursday night.

Herbert, however, decided that he wanted to finish his career at Oregon strong, which he did with a Rose Bowl victory against Wisconsin.

Former Oregon football head coach Mike Bellotti said had similar opportunities to leave Oregon for more money and exposure, but decided that staying at Oregon meant more to him. 

I had offers to leave Oregon many, many times. That didn't matter because I really felt like our opportunity to accomplish something at Oregon meant more. - Mike Bellotti

Bellotti said on the Talkin' Ducks podcast that he had head coaching offers at Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame, but he decided to stay at Oregon and embrace the underdog mentality. 

The former Oregon head coach believes Herbert is in a similar situation.

"The reality, too, is, it's always a little bit easier to be the underdog," Bellotti added. "To be out of the limelight, to motivate your guys that way. There's not as much pressure on you to perform as there is on the other guys, so I can go out there and play loose, because they don't believe you're going to win."

Sure, it may be difficult to get out of the limelight in a city like Los Angeles, but there's many other sports in town and the Rams have monopolized the attention in recent years.

There will be a lot of pressure on him to succeed in Los Angeles. He's a talented, young prospect who can really make a difference for the Chargers. There is a lot of work to be done for Herbert, but Bellotti knows he can handle it.

And I think a guy like Justin Herbert who is from Eugene and went total of 3.5 miles to go to college, the reality for him to accomplish what he's done - to come back for his senior year and now to be the sixth draft choice in the NFL. There's a lot of work to be done. That's not an easy transition. But, the opportunity to take the Chargers, I think it's an opportunity. I think it's something we're going to be excited to watch in the future. - Mike Bellotti

Justin Herbert has a lot to prove coming this year for the Chargers.

Listen to the Talkin' Ducks podcast here.

Justin Herbert will gladly embrace underdog mentality with LA Chargers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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