Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette both have opted to skip their bowl games this month in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. But that’s a choice that Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett says he wouldn’t make – even if he weren’t playing in a College Football Playoff game.
The concern, of course, is that an injury could derail a player’s NFL career and cost him millions of dollars. But Barrett, a junior, explained that he doesn’t play that “what if?” game. Via The Columbus Dispatch:
“I think it’s to each his own,” Barrett said Tuesday. “Me personally, I’m not a person who is afraid of being injured. I think that’s what you sign up for when you play football. That can happen at any time.
“I don’t try to live in the world where, ‘If I didn’t do this, this wouldn’t happen,’ because you’d drive yourself crazy. You play for your teammates and the love of the game.”
Barrett, of course, has first-hand experience with the risks. He broke his ankle in Ohio State’s game against Michigan at the end of the 2014 regular season and missed the team’s improbable run to the first College Football Playoff title. He split time with his 2014 replacement, Cardale Jones, in the 2015 season before returning to the regular starting role this season.
Barrett will lead the Buckeyes against the Clemson Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl this Saturday, with the winner advancing to face either the Alabama Crimson Tide or Washington Huskies in the CFP National Championship.