It has become an annual ritual in the college football world for star players to announce they will not be playing in their team’s bowl games ahead of the NFL draft.
This year will be no different. Players will announce that with the regular season concluded, and only a bowl game left, they are going to turn their attention to the 2022 NFL Draft in the hopes of staying healthy and spending time to focus on preparing for the draft.
Even with NIL deals in place at the college level now, several players will make the decision to not risk their pro football careers in a last hurrah with their college.
Which players have made the decision? Sporting News will be tracking the top names to announce they won’t be playing in bowl games.
College football players skipping bowl games
- Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
So far, there have been just one player announce he will skip his team’s bowl game.
Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, considered a potential No. 1 overall pick, announced on Instagram on Monday that he will forgo the Ducks’ trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 against No. 16 Oklahoma, and instead begin to prepare for the NFL Draft.
The star defensive end finished his season with seven sacks, 12 tackels for loss, 49 total tackles and two forced fumbles. Thibodeaux is a Bednarik Award and Bronco Nagurski Trophy finalist.
His decision to forgo his team’s bowl game comes the same day Oregon coach, Mario Cristobal, announced he would be leaving the Ducks to take the head coaching position at Miami.