Don’t Expect Any Buckeyes to Skip the Bowl Game for NFL Draft


One year ago, Ohio State was in Arizona preparing for Clemson in a semifinal matchup in the College Football Playoff. At that same time, prominent college football players Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey were choosing to skip their teams’ respective bowl games to focus on the NFL Draft.

At the time, the Buckeyes to a man said they could never see one of their teammates doing that. It was easy to say back then because they were playing for a national title. The real test would come when they weren’t playing for a national title.

On Sunday, the College Football Playoff selection committee announced their four teams for this year’s playoff, and the Buckeyes were left out, meaning that their bowl game won’t have nearly the weight that last year’s game did.

Ohio State sends players to the NFL every year — and there are over a dozen Buckeyes who could be drafted next spring, but now they could lose somebody before the season is even over.

If that happens, however, there would be some very surprised people in the OSU football facilities.

“I don’t see any guys on this team doing that,” linebacker Chris Worley said. “The love for brother here and brotherhood, that’s real. And another thing about it is you’ve got a bunch of guys that love playing football, love the game, just to be around the game. To just think about a guy sort of saying, ‘I’m going to step away from the game,’ if he’s not legit hurt, then I really doubt that would happen here.”

There are very good reasons for bypassing the bowl game, and in cases like former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, there can be millions of reasons. But there are also very good reasons for playing.

“That’s wild. Especially the people that we have in our locker room,” quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “Like, I mean, I don’t know what the people have done in these past couple of years. I don’t know them personally. But I guess the brotherhood and the bond that we have in the Ohio State locker room, I would be very shocked. You ever see Coach Meyer do the [taken aback]? Like one of those, like, smack me across the face. Somebody was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to play in the bowl game, Cotton Bowl against USC.’ I think that would be wild.”

Wild is one word for it. Smart is another word for it, depending on which aisle you happen to align with.

Unexpected may be the word that Urban Meyer would go with.

How would he react to one of his players sitting out the bowl game?

“I don’t know. I remember last year was the first time — and I really didn’t study it because I was, like, what’s going on here? Those are all situations that you handle on a case-by-case,” he said.

“I would hope not, but once again this is all happening real fast. And I think our players are very close and they want to go out to find a way to win this game.”


8 Responses

  1. Bowl Games now are nothing more then glorified Exhibition Games. A poor young man { Which most of them are} with a chance to receive MILLIONS of dollars in a couple of months guaranteed by signing his name is a very foolish person if he plays in one of those games. Any fan or organization who would hold that intelligent choice against him has no concept of economics. If any one wishes to say differently, I will take it to be a fabrication.

  2. I think JT should skip the bowl. Get ready for the arena draft. I kid I kid. Nice to see the kids want one more round. I wouldn’t fault Jamarco or Ward sitting out though

  3. Some folks believe that Jabril Peppers wasn’t really injured last year for their bowl game.
    I gotta believe that would have been more fun for him than playing for the Browns.
    But sure, I could see someone skipping the bowl, especially if they have been nicked up.
    I would love to see the Big Ten win all their bowls this year.

  4. James please go spew your negativity on another site. I myself am looking forward to watching OSU vs USC. I was at the game last time they played and would love to see us come out with a victory. Doesnt matter if it is the Cotton Bowl or Toilet Bowl I look forward to seeing them play one more time this year.

    1. Well, big whoop for you. You think you have special super powers and exclusive abilities to be at games? You’re wrong DAVID. I could sit here and type about what games I’ve attended, how many times I’ve actually been on the sidelines for games, or even sat in classes and lecture halls at Ohio State.

      I’d advise that you take your narcissistic adolescence to another site if you don’t like opinions that are different from yours. You may be a part of Buckeye Nation, or you might just be a clown who gets some false sense of value because you buy a ticket or a shirt or a bumper sticker, but, I assure you that the fan base doesn’t grant you the WE, and US associative disorder.

      So go and enjoy them playing 1 more time. Nobody is stopping you. Just like nobody is going to stop me from stating what I believe, whether anyone agree’s with me or not. If that injures your delicate flower feelings, I couldn’t care less.

  5. Give em a minute. At least give those with a legit shot at big money in the NFL draft a minute to weigh their options. Enter the draft process healthy and no physical concerns…….or potentially and LITERALLY robbing myself of millions to play in a completely useless glorified scrimmage game that means exactly nothing, and get hurt doing it.

    What’s there to play for in a Bowl game anymore? Bragging rights? Bragging rights mean exactly squat if they end your professional resume’. The value of Bowl games has died…..time to bury it and move on.

    1. If I’m a GM or lead scout of an NFL Team, and I see a kid who skips the bowl game for personal advancement; who puts themselves ahead of the team; I’m skipping over them and finding somebody else. Anybody on here is out of their minds if they think for one second that the New England Patriots (or anybody that runs their team the RIGHT way, for that matter) would draft a kid who didn’t play in their bowl for fear it would effect their standing in the draft. Who put themselves ahead of the team. This isn’t the NBA. This is the freakin NFL. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

      1. Do your REALLY think a kid with immense talent and extraordinary abilities, who can make a major impact on their professional teams roster gives a crap about that star player sitting out a nonsensical bowl game? You are right, this isn’t the NBA where star players come a dime a dozen. We’re talking about a fast hard hitting game. Get hurt playing in a participation only level game and you can lose millions. Weigh the risks to the reward now that they have literally removed ALL meaning, including just simple pride meaning, from the Bowl games, and the risk just isn’t worth it. I know for CERTAIN that NO NFL franchise is going to ding a guy they might have their eyes on for skipping it. Some would even encourage it.

Comments are closed.