STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 21:  Rashan Gary #3 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after stopping the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 21, 2017 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

College Football Players Not Playing in Bowl Games This Year

Cover Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images


College football's recent postseason trend of NFL-prospect talents deciding to sit out of their team's bowl game has only continued to become even more popular this season. And the list of NCAAF stars opting out or missing their non-College Football Playoff bowls continues growing by the day. Here are all of the biggest-name players who have announced they will be sitting out of from this year's games. 


All Names on List Updated as of Dec. 29.

10. Dexter Lawrence, DT – Clemson Tigers

Lance King/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (+11.5)

Season Stats: 36 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 13 games


Lawrence is the latest name added to this list of players missing their team's bowl game, but it's not by his own choice. Lawrence tested positive for PEDs and was suspended from participating in the Cotton Bowl playoff semifinal against No. 3 Notre Dame as a result. Lawrence is a consensus top DT prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft, but this late-season suspension will certainly be an unwanted blemish on his Clemson career. 

9. Karan Higdon, RB – Michigan

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 10 Florida Gators (+7.5)

Season Stats: 1,178 rushing yards, 224 attempts, 10 TDs, 11 games


Higdon is the now third starting Michigan player to announce he will be sitting out of this year's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and the Wolverines will certainly miss him. Michigan hasn't seen a 1,000-yard running back in a single season since Fitzgerald Toussaint did it back in 2011 with 1,041 yards, and the Wolverines are already facing a tough Florida rushing defense. 

8. Bryce Love, RB – Stanford Cardinal

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Hyundai Sun Bowl

Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh (+6.5)

Season Stats: 739 rushing yards, 166 attempts, 6 TDs, 10 games 


After putting up 2,118 rushing yards on 8.1 yards per attempt last season, Love came into the 2018-19 season as the nation's opening Heisman-trophy favorite. But a couple of minor injuries combined with a slower start to the season quickly ruled him out of this season's race. Bryce will enter the 2019 NFL Draft as one of the consensus top RB prospects of the class. 

7. Rashan Gary, DL – Michigan Wolverines

Cover Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Image


Bowl Game: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 10 Florida Gators (+7.5)

Season Stats: 38 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 9 games


Gary missed the entire month of October due to injury, but finished out the year strong with four consecutive solid performances. Alongside Ed Oliver, Gary is one of the most talented defensive-line prospects opting out of this year's bowl games. 

6. Noah Fant, TE – Iowa Hawkeyes

Cover Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Outback Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs (-7)

Season Stats: 519 receiving yards, 39 receptions, 7 TDs, 


While a tight end isn't the flashiest prospect position that comes to mind for critical players sitting out of bowl games, Fant is arguably the top TE prospect in this year's entire draft. He was a key part of Iowa's success over the last two seasons, and the Hawkeyes offense will miss him greatly against Mississippi State's No. 1 scoring defense in the country. 

5. Greedy Williams, CB – LSU Tigers

Cover Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Playstation Fiesta Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 8 UCF Knights (+7.5)

Season Stats: 33 tackles, 2 INTs, 11 games


Greedy Williams is one of the top-rated cornerbacks and defensive secondary prospects eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. He'll certainly be a big loss for an LSU defense that gave up 74 points to Texas A&M in the Tigers' final game of the regular season (albeit a 7 OT thriller). 

4. N'Keal Harry, WR – Arizona State Sun Devils

Cover Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 21 Fresno State Bulldogs (-4)

Season Stats: 1,088 receiving yards, 73 receptions, 9 TDs, 12 games


Harris crashed the top-NFL-prospects scene early on this season when his Sun Devils upset then-No. 15 Michigan State at home in Week 2. But since, his name has remained relatively out of the college football spotlight as ASU fell to just 7-5 on the season. 

3. Devin Bush, LB – Michigan Wolverines

Cover Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 10 Florida Gators (+7.5)

Season Stats: 66 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 INTs, 12 games


Bush was an integral part of one of the most dominant Michigan defenses we've seen in recent memory. Given Gary's absence along with Bush, Michigan certainly won't look the defense we recognize from the majority of this season. 

2. Will Grier, QB – West Virginia Mountaineers

Cover Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Camping World Bowl

Opponent: vs. No. 20 Syracuse Orangemen (+1.5)

Season Stats: 3,864 passing yards, 37 TDs, 8 INTs, 67.0 percent completion, 11 games


Grier is firmly one of the top QB prospects in this year's draft class, and could become even more valuable if Oregon QB Justin Herbert decides to return for another season. His announcement to sit out of the Camping World Bowl dropped the Mountaineers from minus-7.5 favorites to just minus-1.5. 

1. Ed Oliver, DE – Houston Cougars

Cover Photo: John Weast/Getty Images


Bowl Game: Armed Forces Bowl

Opponent: vs. Army Black Knights (-3)

Season Stats: 54 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF, 8 games


Oliver came into the 2018-19 college football season as a consensus, future Top-3 NFL Draft Pick, but he has since fallen as low as the middle of the first round in some mock drafts. He was injured this season and is opting to focus on the draft rather than put himself at further risk beforehand. 


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.