As the 2018 college football bowl season approaches, the list of players electing to skip their bowl games to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft is growing by the day.
Here are some of the biggest names we won’t get to see one more time:
Hardest Player To Replace — Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
Grier was one of most productive college quarterbacks during his time in Morgantown, W.V. The 6-foot-2 signal-caller started his career at Florida before transferring to West Virginia and thrived in the Big 12. In two seasons under Dana Holgorsen, Grier threw for 7,354 yards and 71 touchdowns. Grier currently ranks third in the country in passing yards per game (351.3) and third in touchdowns (37) while leading the ninth-best scoring offense in the country. West Virginia will turn to sophomore Jack Allison for its Camping World Bowl tilt vs. Syracuse but it’s hard to see the offense being as dynamic without Grier.
Player With Most To Lose — Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
The 6-foot-3, 291-pound All-American was one of the best interior linemen in the country during his three seasons with the Cougars. In 33 games, Oliver registered 193 total tackles, including 54 for loss and 13.5 sacks. He was listed as a top-five prospect for most of the season and is expected to be selected in the top 10 come April. Oliver battled a knee injury for most of his junior season, so there’s no reason for him to risk top-10 money to play in the Armed Forces Bowl against a physical Army team that loves to run the ball and get defensive linemen on the ground.
Player We Will Most Miss Watching One More Time — N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Arizona State’s junior wide receiver was the most feared wideout in the Pac-12. Harry has the combination of elite size and speed that will make him an effective red-zone weapon in the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 213-pound receiver caught 73 passes for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season for the Sun Devils. He has elected to skip the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State, which means we no longer can see catches like the one below.
Under-The-Radar Player Likely To Become Household Name In NFL — Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The top tight end in this year’s draft class, Fant pulled down 39 passes for 519 yards and seven touchdowns this season for the Hawkeyes. The 6-foot-5 pass-catcher likely will be the first tight end off the board and could become a dominant force at the next level. Fant possesses elite athleticism and is the most NFL-ready tight end in the class. Remember his name for your fantasy draft next season.
Here’s a list of other players who have decided to skip their bowl game:
Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
Larry Williams, G, Oklahoma State
Germaine Pratt, LB, North Carolina State
Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
Donnell Greene, OT, Minnesota
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
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