Yesterday we took our best guess at identifying which five players from the newly-signed 2015 recruiting class are most likely to play right away. Today we take our best guess at which five players seem most likely to get a redshirt year for the upcoming season. Obviously they'd love to redshirt all of the offensive linemen - and there's a pretty good chance they will - but to keep the list more interesting I'm going to assume that guys like Trey Adams and Henry Roberts have a shot at playing and spread out the list a bit. I'm also leaving out guys the two guys (A.J. Carty, Myles Rice) that have indicated they may "greyshirt" (delay enrollment).
1. OL Devin Burleson
6'7", 260 lbs, 2-star Scout.com/2-star Rivals.com (5.4)
Burleson initially signed with last year's class, but delayed his enrollment until January to this year to help free up scholarship numbers and give him more time to build himself up physically. A basketball player for most of his life, he's fairly new to football, and while he has pretty quick feet for a guy his size, he's still very raw. He's a great test for Tim Socha's strength & conditioning program - you'd love to see Burleson pick up another 30+ pounds of good weight in the next couple of years and get a lot stronger. As well, he'll need a lot of coaching up by Chris Strausser on technique. The good news is he probably doesn't have much in the way of bad habits to un-learn. He's a classic long-term development project that has a chance to pay off handsomely by the time he's in his 4th and 5th years in the program.
2. TE Michael Neal
6'4", 219 lbs, 3-star Scout.com/3-star Rivals.com (5.5)
Neal shows pretty good skills as a receiver and has the frame to get bigger and stronger, but there's plenty of depth built up right now at the TE position which should ensure he gets the luxury of a redshirt year to bulk-up. With Josh Perkins, Darrell Daniels, David Ajamu and Drew Sample already on the roster, there shouldn't be a need for Neal to play this upcoming year, but I could see him getting into the mix in 2016 as a player very similar to Perkins. A redshirt year will give him some time to get bigger and stronger and have more of a chance of not getting overwhelmed when blocking in-line.
3. WR/CB Quinten Pounds
5'11", 166 lbs, 3-star Scout.com/3-star Rivals.com (5.5)
Originally thought to be a CB recruit, Pounds has been told by the coaching staff he'll start off on offense. He's got strong ball skills and plays longer than his listed 5'11" frame as he possesses long arms. He didn't get a ton of touches, but was productive with the ones he got, tallying 570 yards and 8 TDs on his 29 catches. His preference is on offense and he'll get his shot there, but he's still very lean and could really use a year in the weight room getting bigger. I would also expect that the coaching staff would like to spread out this class a bit - with 4 incoming receivers and at least 2 of those strong candidates to play right away, they may want to save a year of eligibility for 1-2 of the others.
4. DE/BUCK Bryce Sterk
6'4", 229 lbs, 2-star Scout.com/2-star Rivals.com (5.4)
A classic late-riser up recruiting boards, Sterk didn't get his first Power-5 conference offer until Petersen and the Huskies did so a few weeks back on January 15th. Oregon quickly followed-suit, but after his official visit to Seattle Sterk was sold and committed. He's got a great frame and showed off his athleticism by competing in the 300 meter hurdles, 4x400 relay and the shot put while at Lynden High School but is still very raw in terms of his technique. He's making a huge step up in competition, and he would really benefit from an extra year to work on his fundamentals, but he's another guy - similar to Burleson - that has a very high ceiling and could turn out to be a real gem from this class in 3-4 years.
5. OL Jared Hilbers
6'6", 279 lbs, 3-star Scout.com/3-star Rivals.com (5.6)
Once Calvin Throckmorton committed to Oregon last summer, the staff moved quickly to offer Hilbers after having worked with him in person at their Rising Stars camp, and he wasted no time in committing. He's got the long frame you love to see in a lineman and shows good feet, but is still quite lean and needs to pack on another 20+ pounds and get stronger. He's got a tackle-sized frame, but he may end up starting off inside. The staff would love to redshirt all the OL commits, but Burleson and Hilbers seem to be the most likely of that group to preserve a year of eligibility this upcoming season.
Others considered: WR Andre Baccellia, CB Jordan Miller, LB Ben Burr-Kirven
What do you think Dawg fans - which guys do you see as locks to redshirt this year?