Last year began a trend of NFL draft prospects skipping their bowl games. This year it continues.
Texas left tackle Connor Williams, a junior with a year of NCAA eligibility remaining, announced today that he will enter the 2018 NFL draft and will not play in Texas’s bowl game.
“My family and I have decided it is my best interest to forgo the bowl game and my senior season to begin preparing for my professional football career,” Williams said. “One of the reasons I worked so hard to come back from my injury was to help the team reach its goal of playing in a bowl game, and I’m proud we were able to accomplish that. I will continue to support my teammates in their efforts to finish the season strong.”
A serious injury in a bowl game like the one Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith suffered in his last game at Notre Dame can cost a player millions of dollars, so it’s not surprising that so many players decide it’s not worth the risk. Some day soon it might be surprising when a draft prospect announces he will play in his bowl game.