The Case For Playing Bralon Addison

Bralon Addison

You’re 20 years old and 24 hours away from unarguably the biggest game in the history of college football. You’ve been out with an injury, but your rehab went well, you’ve put in pad time and shaken off some rust. You aren’t a backup or a third stringer. You are the #1 WR on the #1 offense in the country. Your team has struggled with injuries but still managed to string together dominant wins. In a heartbeat you watch as not just one, but two of your teams’ top offensive targets go down, one with injury and one found ineligible. What do you do?

If I’m Bralon Addison, I’m not just asking, I’m BEGGING Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich, Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost, and WR Coach Matt Lubick to let me play. “Burn my Redshirt, Coach” are the words coming out of my mouth. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This game will never happen again. That’s not to say that Oregon can’t get back to the NCG next year, or the year after – the last decade has proven they are built for continued success. But this is the first EVER College Football Playoff National Championship Game. There can only ever be one first time and this is it. Twenty-five years from now, I know I would want to look back and say “I was there, and I played.”

It’s not as if there isn’t precedent for this type of situation. The 2013/2014 NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks had an offensive weapon that hardly played leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII. Percy Harvin, the speedster who joined Seattle via trade with the Minnesota Vikings, came out and returned a kickoff for a TD that essentially iced the game for the ‘Hawks. But it wasn’t just his play when he had the ball in his hands. Almost as important was the fact that the Denver Bronco defense had to account for him, regardless of what his role was, and there was very little film to prepare with. Addison doesn’t necessarily have to touch the ball – the simple fact that the Ohio State defense will have to keep track of him, without knowing what he will do, may be enough to impact the game in Oregon’s direction.

This isn’t a situation where Addison would be sacrificing the rest of his Oregon career for one game. He would still have a year of eligibility if Oregon chose to burn his redshirt and allowed him to play in the NCG. Walter Camp Football, a leading online NFL Mock Draft website, has three wide receivers going in the first round and none of them are names like Kelvin Benjamin or Amari Cooper. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Addison could choose to leave early for the draft, especially if he has a big fall in 2015 for the Oregon Ducks. Right now he could go somewhere in the middle rounds. A huge game in the CFP NCG could boost his stock, get him some press for the 2015 season and launch him into earlier rounds.

If Addison is healthy and wants to play, then let him play. Ohio State won’t know what to do with him and even if he only touches the ball a couple of times, this is the opportunity of a lifetime that any competitive athlete wouldn’t want to pass up. If your best offensive weapon is healthy, hungry and begging to play, then it should be a no-brainer.  Put him in and watch him burn the Ohio State secondary.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck


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Paul Jones

Paul Jones

I (Managing Editor and Writer) am a lifelong Oregon Duck fan, currently living in Seattle, WA. While born and raised in the Pacific Northwest,; a Tour of Duty in the USMC and a successful corporate career has taken me all over the U.S. I graduated from Willamette University with a BA in Economics, minoring in Mathematics. I wrote for the Statesman Journal during the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s and have contributed to a number of online publications. I am married, the father of two awesome girls, and the Managing Editor for You can find me at: @Bigducklitlduck on most social media, or email me here.

  • Miami fan rooting on Ducks

    You play addison and this is why. Its for the championship! This is why kids play football, this is why you give these kids scholarships to play at your school! This is for the first championship at UO! He is/was your #1 threat going into season. You atleast dress him, and use him if need for a spark or something. I say this as a miami fan who watched Willis Mcgahee go down with injury in fiesta bowl for championship, he was our workhorse that year and was going to be backup to frank gore who blew out his knee in spring drills. He practiced in bowl practice and everyone raved he was back, he dressed that game but Coker didnt want to burn his shirt. On a couple goalline stance in OT we could not punch it in. We couldve used Gore that night. We couldve won and we will never know because we left one in chamber…

    Oh and Gore left a year early for NFL so that redshirt year was never used. Good Job Coker! Either way, I wish you guys the best and will be rooting for you to pull it out! Go ducks!

  • sherrybb

    His timing is not on, he hasn’t taken a single hit by a defender….that’s why you don’t play him. If he was practicing full time, it would be different.

    • dunkonyerhed

      He HAS been practicing full time. If he’s ready, he should play.

  • Duckswinthenati

    Doesn’t matter. We all know the best man up will be in the game. Period.

  • worldwidewebfoot

    Much as I would like to see Bralon on the field again, it has to be when the time is right. Until then, the rule still is, if you don’t practice, you don’t play.

    • uoducks21

      He has been practicing though!

  • dunkonyerhed

    Only the coaching staff know if he’s ready. He’s been practicing with the team for somewhere around a month now. If there was any real rust left, it’s long gone. Games are different than practices, but we have to defer to those in position to see him practice. If he can play, he could be the difference between winning and losing a national championship. He’s that good. And I don’t think he stays around 2 more years, even if he doesn’t play in this game. So what is there to lose?

  • This is why Oregon keeps their practices closed – it’s a standard started by Chip Kelly for this exact reason. If no one knows what Oregon is going to do, then they can do whatever they want, and you can’t gameplan for it. Word coming out of Oregon is that he’s been practicing for a while now. In regards to the rust – he has two years of playing with Mariota, and the kind of chemistry those two have doesn’t need much recharging…not that he needs to shake off much rust burning a punt return for a TD.