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QB Luke Del Rio eligible to play

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State transfer quarterback Luke Del Rio will be eligible to play this fall for the Beavers.

The redshirt freshman found out Friday following the Beavers' practice that he wouldn't need to sit out for a season following his appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility. He spent last season as a walk-on quarterback at Alabama, where he didn't take any game snaps, and transferred to Oregon State in January.

"It's really exciting because I didn't really see a good reason why I shouldn't have been [eligible]," Del Rio said. "I'm glad that they saw it the same way."

Del Rio said he filled out the first letter to the NCAA a month and a half ago. When they came back with more questions for the transfer, he saw it as a good sign that he might not need to sit out a season. Over the process, he had to send a few more letters to the NCAA explaining his situation.

"A lot of these cases get shut down immediately and [the NCAA] comes back with a, 'No, you have to sit out,' " Del Rio said. "But they came back with more questions. When that happened I knew something was different."

Oregon State coach Mike Riley said that Del Rio's immediate eligibility adds good depth to the Beavers' make-up at quarterback. Riley wouldn't venture too far into the future and predict what this means for the fall, as Oregon State is only about halfway through spring practices, but it should be interesting to watch the race through the second half of spring practices leading into the Beavers' spring game May 3.

Senior Sean Mannion will be the definitive starter. In practices, sophomore Brent VanderVeen was running with the second team, while redshirt freshman Kyle Kempt was working with the third team and Del Rio with the fourth. But with Del Rio's immediate eligibility, there might be a few changes.

"It adds one more guy to the mix," Riley said. "It's good. It's good news."