A concerning trend has begun in college football, with star players opting not to play in their bowl games, foregoing them to prepare for the NFL Draft. LSU running back Leonard Fournette was the first, and on Monday, Stanford star Christian McCaffrey followed suit.
Both are choosing to skip their bowl games to not only prepare for the next phase of their football lives but also to avoid a possible injury. We all saw what happened to former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith in the Fiesta Bowl, tearing up his knee and forcing him to miss all of 2016 with the Cowboys. He fell from a likely top-10 pick to the second round, costing him millions, as well.
Coincidentally, Smith was playing against Cowboys teammate Ezekiel Elliott’s Buckeyes in that game. Elliott didn’t skip the contest, and he took to Twitter on Monday to share his thoughts on McCaffrey’s and Fournette’s decisions.
All these young guys deciding to skip their bowl games 🤔.I would do anything to play one more time with my brothers in that scarlet and gray
Elliott was expectedly hit with many responses calling him out for jumping to the NFL after his junior year. He addressed those tweets by saying there’s a big difference between foregoing your senior year and skipping your final game.
And there is a difference between not coming back for your last year and not finishing your last season.
Elliott is actually six months younger than Fournette despite having a year on him in NFL experience. Considering his injury history and wear after three seasons at LSU, it’s hard to blame Fournette for his decision. The same goes for McCaffrey, who figures be a first-round pick in the draft and is battling an injury himself.
After his minor rant, Elliott was made aware of both players’ injuries, and changed his stance a bit.
My bad though I didn't realize they were already battling injuries. So I guess it makes sense.