College football players sitting out bowl games in 2018

Back in 2016, it was a huge controversy when LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, after declaring for the NFL draft, decided to skip their team’s bowl game.

At the time, both players were considered likely first-round draft choices (they both went in the top 10), and did not want to jeopardize their health with a huge payday coming around the corner. However, the decision was viewed by many as quitting on their teams. In the years since, this practice has gotten more popular among draft prospects and public opinion has massively swayed. Though some still don’t agree with it, most completely understand what is at stake for these unpaid athletes.

This year, we will keep an updated list of the players who decide not to play in their team’s bowl game.

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[Full 2018 college football bowl schedule, with dates, times and TV channels]

NFL draft prospects sitting out college bowl games
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NFL draft prospects sitting out college bowl games

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford: Love, the 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up, dealt with a variety of injuries throughout the season and has decided to skip the Sun Bowl vs. Pittsburgh. After putting up 2,118 yards on 8.1 yards per carry last year, Love was limited to 739 yards and 4.5 yards per carry this season for the Cardinal. For more on Love, click here.

(Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis: Memphis coach Mike Norvell confirmed that Henderson, who finished 10th in Heisman voting, will not play in the Birmingham Bowl vs. Wake Forest. Henderson, who declared for the NFL, finished his junior season with 1,909 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns with an 8.9-yard average.

(Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota: Cashman, a second team all-Big Ten selection, led the Gophers with with 104 tackles and also had 15 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He becomes the second Minnesota player to skip the Quick Lane Bowl.

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia: The first big-name quarterback to announce he’ll bypass bowl season, Grier set personal career highs with 3,864 passing yards, 37 touchdowns (to only eight interceptions), and a 175.5 QB rating in his senior year at West Virginia. He’ll skip the Camping World Bowl against Syracuse. Grier, who some believe will be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft, explained his decision with a letter to WVU fans.

(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia: Cajuste won’t play in the Camping World Bowlagainst Syracuse. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and a two-year starter on West Virginia’s offensive line.

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Donnell Greene, OT, Minnesota: According to the Pioneer Press, Greene signed with an agent after undergoing knee surgery for a meniscus injury. As a result, the senior left tackle will sit out the Quick Lane Bowl against Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Greene started 29 games in his Minnesota career.

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State: Pratt, an all-ACC selection, was second in the conference this season with 104 tackles. He missed the season finale against UNC while nursing an injury and now will sit out the Gator Bowl vs. Texas A&M like his teammate Kelvin Harmon.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina: Whenever he’s been healthy Samuel has been a big-play threat as a receiver and returner for South Carolina. He finishes his career with 148 catches for 2,076 yards and 29 total touchdowns, including four kickoff returns. Samuel won’t play in the Belk Bowl vs. Virginia.

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State: Harmon led the ACC this season with 1,186 receiving yards and was tied for third with 81 catches. His 177 career receptions for 2,665 yards rank fourth and third in NC State history, respectively. He will sit out the Gator Bowl vs. Texas A&M.

(AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State: In three seasons, Harry totaled 213 catches for 2,889 yards. Both marks rank third in Arizona State program history. He won’t play in the Las Vegas Bowl vs. Fresno State.

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State: For his career, Hill rushed for 3,539 yards and 30 TDs on 632 attempts — all rank No. 7 in school history. Hill, who missed OSU’s last two games with injuries, will sit out the Liberty Bowl vs. Missouri.

(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan: In three seasons at Michigan, Gary combined for 119 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Gary, the nation’s top recruit in 2016, missed three games earlier this season with a shoulder injury and now will sit out the Peach Bowlvs. Florida.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU: After redshirting his first year, Williams emerged as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in 2017 when he intercepted six passes for the Tigers. This year, Williams totaled 33 tackles and two interceptions. He won’t play in the Fiesta Bowlvs. UCF.

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ed Oliver, DL, Houston: Oliver, who declared for the draft before his junior season, had 54 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss in eight games for Houston. He missed multiple games with a knee injury. For his career, Oliver totaled 192 tackles, 53 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. He won’t play in the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Army.

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa: In three seasons at Iowa, Fant caught 78 passes for 1,082 yards and 19 touchdowns. He could be the first tight end selected in the 2019 draft. Fant will skip the Outback Bowl vs. Mississippi State.

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)


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