Oregon has three players who would lose a year of eligibility if they play in the Redbox Bowl.
Quarterback Braxton Burmeister, safety Billy Gibson, and wide receiver Bryan Addison have all played in four games this season. Under the NCAAs new rule, each of those players could use a redshirt year if they don’t take the field for a fifth game.
Burmeister and Gibson could return as redshirt sophomores next season while Addison would be a redshirt freshman if he does not play against Michigan State on Dec. 31 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Burmeister replaced Justin Herbert late in wins over Bowling Green, Portland State, and UCLA before playing the entire second half of Oregon’s 55-15 win over Oregon State on Nov. 23 after Herbert suffered a shoulder injury.
Herbert has returned to practice and will start against the Spartans, but his backup is in question after coach Mario Cristobal said that Burmeister and true freshman Tyler Shough have had a close competition all year.
Shough has played in only three games so he will be a redshirt freshman next year whether he plays in the Redbox Bowl or not. Burmeister, who started five games as a true freshman when Herbert was injured, will be a junior next season if he plays in the bowl game.
“Braxton is willing to play and Tyler has had a good couple practices as well,” Cristobal said following practice on Friday.
Oregon’s depth chart lists Burmeister and Shough as the backups to Herbert and Cristobal said he would give more clarity on that position battle after the Ducks arrive in the Bay Area.
Addison, who was a late addition to Oregon’s recruiting class in the summer, played in each of UO’s first three games and had his lone catch for 12 yards against Portland State. He did not play again until the Civil War, in part due to a team-issued suspension during the season.
“We’d like to reevaluate it as this week goes along,” Cristobal said of the possibility of playing Addison against MSU. “He has really pushed himself into playing time. You have to be mindful of the future as well. At the same time, the redshirt rule is beneficial, but it is also a bit of an imperfect science. Say you use it this year and then he gets hurt next year. It goes both ways so you always want to have the most logical choice.”
Gibson, who played in 11 games last year as a true freshman, played in Oregon’s three nonconference wins this year and the victory over California.
In addition to Shough, freshman defensive lineman Andrew Faoliu, cornerback Verone McKinley and safety Steve Stephens have each played in three games and could play in the Redbox Bowl and still redshirt the season.