It has become an annual ritual in the college football world for star players to announce they will not be playing in their team's bowl games ahead of the NFL draft.
This year will be no different. Players will announce that with the regular season concluded, and only a bowl game left, they are going to turn their attention to the 2022 NFL Draft in the hopes of staying healthy and spending time to focus on preparing for the draft.
Even with NIL deals in place at the college level now, several players will make the decision to not risk their pro football careers in a last hurrah with their college.
Which players have made the decision? Sporting News will be tracking the top names to announce they won't be playing in bowl games.
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College football players skipping bowl games
- Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
- Oregon CB Mykael Wright
- Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
- SMU WR Reggie Roberson
- SMU WR Danny Gray
- Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton
- Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams
- Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor
- Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III
- West Virginia RB Leddie Brown
- Arizona State RB Rachaad White
- Purdue DE George Karlaftis
- Nevada QB Carson Strong
- Pitt QB Kenny Pickett
- Pitt CB Damarri Mathis
- Mizzou RB Tyler Badie
- Texas A&M S Leon O'Neal
- Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller
- Penn State LB Brandon Smit College Halloween Costumes h
- Penn State LB Ellis Brooks
- Penn State WR Jahan Dotson
- Penn State S Jaquan Brisker
- Ohio State WR Chris Olave
- Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson
- Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
- Ohio State DT Haskell Garrett
- UTSA RB Sincere McCormick
- Mississippi State OT Charles Cross
- Iowa State RB Breece Hall
So far, there have been several key players who've announced they'll skip their bowl games and prepare for the NFL Draft instead.
Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, considered a potential No. 1 overall pick, announced on Instagram on Dec. 6 that he will forgo the Ducks' trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 against No. 16 Oklahoma, and instead begin to prepare for the NFL Draft.
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The star defensive end finishe Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Jerseys d his season with seven sacks, 12 tackels for loss, 49 total tackles and two forced fumbles. Thibodeaux is a Bednarik Award and Bronco Nagurski Trophy finalist.
His decision to forgo his team's bowl game comes the same day Oregon coach, Mario Cristobal, announced he would be leaving the Ducks to take the head coaching position at Miami.
Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks announced that he would opt out, announcing his decision on Dec. 8 tha Coast Guard Academy Bears shirt t he will not play against Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Burks had a stellar 2021 campaign, finishing the season with 1 Davidson Wildcats clothes ,104 receiving yards on 66 catches, including 11 touchdowns. He also rushed 14 times for 112 yards and scored another touchdown on the ground.
A pair of SMU teammates both announced they would be skipping the Fenway Bowl. Wide receiver Reggie Roberson was the first to make his announcement, followed by fellow wideout Danny Gray. Gray led the team with 803 receiving yards and nine receiving touhdowns on 49 catches, while Roberson was third with 625 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 51 receptions.
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton said on Twitter that he would be skipping the Fighting Irish's Fiesta Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State as he prepares for the NFL Draft. Hamilton, who was just named a Walter Camp First Team All-Ameri Carnegie Mellon Tartans Jerseys can, finished the 2021 season with 34 tackles and three interceptions.
Shortly after Hamilton announced his decision, Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams announced that he too would be missing the Fiesta Bowl. Williams was the leading rusher for the Fighting Irish for the second straight season, reaching 1,002 yards on the ground with 14 touchdowns on 204 carries. He also caught 42 passes for 359 yards with three more scores.
In addition to Hamilton, another star running back announced he'd skip his team's bowl game in Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III. Walker, an SN All-American who finished sixth in this year's Heisman voting, won't play in the Peach Bowl against Pitt and will instead get ready for the NFL Draft. Walker finished the year with 1,646 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He was second in the nation in rushing yards and second in the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns.
West Vriginia's Leddie Brown became the latest player to opt out as he won't play in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against Minnesota on Dec. 28. Brown was the Mountaineers' leading rusher each of the last two seasons, eclipsing 1,000 yards both years. He was also a receiving threat out of the backfield as he had the second-most catches on the team last season and the fourth-most this season.
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Shortly after Brown announced his intentions, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett said he would not play in the Peach Bowl against Michigan State.
The senior finished third in the voting for the 2021 Heisman Trophy. He threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns in 13 games while leading the Panthers to their first ACC championship. Pickett ended his five-year Panthers career with 12,303 passing yards and 81 passing touchdowns. He also had 20 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
Breece Hall, a two-time consensus All-America selection (unanimous in 2020) announced on Saturday he would opt out of Iowa State' Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Shirts s Cheez-It Bowl matchup vs. Clemson. He finishes the season with 1,472 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns and a 5.8 yards-per-carry average. He compiled 1,572 yards, 21 touchdowns and a 5.6 yards-per-carry average in Dallas Baptist Patriots shirt 2020.
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Hall finishes his Iowa State career with 3,941 rushing yards, 50 rushing touchdowns and a career 5.5-yards-per carry average. Including receptions and receiving yards, Hall has 4,675 yards from scrimmage and 56 total touchdowns in three seasons.
Tyler Badie will also be sitting out for Mizzou's bowl game against Army. The Tigers will be without its record-setting running back after coach Eliah Drinkwitz said he did not want to risk the star's future on the game, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. He rushed for 1,604 yards on 268 carries, with 14 going for sco NCAA Crewneck Sweatshirt res.
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong posted his intention to sit out the Quick Lane Bowl against Western Michigan on Instagram. He finished his final season in Nevada with 4,186 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 70 percent completion percentage.
This post will be updated as more players announce their intentions to skip bowl games.