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Oregon TE Cam McCormick Granted 9th Year of Eligibility by NCAA; Undecided on Future

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2022

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 22: Tight end Cam McCormick #84 of the Oregon Ducks catches a touchdown pass against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Autzen Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Oregon Ducks tight end Cam McCormick announced Friday that he was granted a ninth year of college eligibility by the NCAA.

According to James Crepea of The Oregonian, McCormick divulged that he requested the extra year of eligibility after he tore his Achilles in September 2021. He also noted that he is undecided if he will return for another collegiate season in 2023:

"I've thought about it; it's a tough decision. I'm not totally keen on what my decision is going to be yet. I'm going to continue to enjoy this game with my teammates and make the decision after the game. ... I couldn't imagine doing nine. If anything, I applied for it just to have it after Ohio State last year. I tore my Achilles and thankfully was able to get it. The option's there, I do have it. Whether I use it, it's in the air. Thinking about returning for a year eight."

If McCormick pursues an NFL career rather than return to Oregon next season, his final game with the Ducks will be the Holiday Bowl against North Carolina on Dec. 28.

Per Crepea, McCormick missed nearly four full seasons from 2018 to 2021 due to a broken left ankle that required three surgeries, as well as the torn Achilles.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, McCormick finished with six receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown. He appeared in only two games over the next four years before playing in a career-high 12 games this season.

McCormick has nine grabs for 64 yards in 2022, plus he has scored a career-high three touchdowns.

At 24, the Bend, Oregon, native is already older than many players in the NFL and most players in college football. Even so, he has the option to extend his stay at the University of Oregon for another year.

Given how little he has played over the years, Crepea noted that McCormick is unlikely to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine or selected in the NFL draft, meaning he would have to attempt to make a team as an undrafted free agent.

Other options include attempting to play in other professional leagues such as the XFL or USFL.

If McCormick does leave Oregon, he will go out on a high note, as he was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Since 2002, the award has been given annually to players or teams that display "courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship."

McCormick will fly from San Diego to Miami after the Holiday Bowl and receive the award during an on-field ceremony at the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.