Oregon’s best player and potential No. 1 pick Kayvon Thibodeaux will not play against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl. Thibodeaux announced on Monday that he would forego the bowl game and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mario Cristobal’s departure probably has little role to play in this decision, as Thibodeaux was expected to sit out unless his team was in the College Football Playoff. However, there are several of his teammates looking for the door after Cristobal left, so the bowl game could be ugly for both teams under interim coaches.
It would have been a mojor surprise if Thibodeaux would’ve plaed in this game, given his immense talent and being draft eligible this year. He has suffered some injuries in his career, but has been fantasic for the Ducks when on the field. In 31 games he has recorded 19 sacks which is tied for seventh in program history, and 34.5 career tackles for loss, fifth-most among active Power 5 players since the start of 2019.
It is widely debated whether Thibodeaux or Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson will be the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but both look to be excellent investments for teams at the next level.
Oregon and Oklahoma will clash in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 29th in San Antonio, Texas, and will be televised on ESPN.