SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 31:  Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half of the Redbox Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 31, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

7 College Football Players Who Cost Themselves Millions by Playing in 2018 Bowl Games

Cover Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images


Many top NFL Draft prospects sit out of their respective bowl games in order to protect their health for the pros. While this has become near common practice for the best of the best over the past few seasons, there are still some prospects who play out the string for their college program regardless of the potential injury risk.


Here are the seven NFL prospects that cost themselves the most in potential NFL Draft stock from playing in their bowl game to close out the 2018 season.

7. Trace McSorley (Sr.), QB, Penn State

Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Trace McSorley didn't come into Penn State's matchup with Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl as a highly-touted QB prospect, nor was there a guarantee he'd be picked at all. But after suffering a foot injury (with conflicting reports of severity between minor and broken), any hope of making a practice squad or signing as an undrafted free agent may have been squandered by this.

6. Jerry Tillery (Sr.), DL, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Jerry Tillery is considered one of the top overall prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft and a Top-10 DL prospect as well. But, in the biggest game of his Notre Dame career in the College Football Playoff against a number of future NFL talents on the Clemson offense, Tillery posted goose eggs across the board for tackles, sacks and assists. Not a fantastic look for scouts hoping to evaluate your performance against the best players in college football.

5. Ryan Finley (Sr.), QB, NC State Wolfpack

Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Ryan Finley is projected as both a Top-100 consensus 2019 NFL Draft prospect and Top-5 QB prospect for the upcoming draft, but he certainly didn't raise any eyebrows in the 52-13 beatdown his Wolfpack suffered against Texas A&M in the 2018 Gator Bowl. Finley thew for just 139 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 19-of-32 passing attempts for a 15.4 QBR.

4. Qadree Ollison (Sr.), RB, Pittsburgh Panthers

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images


Qadree Ollison suffered an apparent ankle injury against Stanford in the 2018 Sun Bowl, which forced his Pittsburgh career to come to an earlier end than he had anticipated. Ollison was projected as a Top-10 RB for this year's class too, so an ankle injury certainly isn't going to help his draft stock very much.

3. Julian Love (Jr.), CB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Not only did Julian Love suffer an undisclosed injury in the first half of Notre Dame's College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson, he also watched the Notre Dame secondary get torched by Clemson's freshman QB Trevor Lawrence to the tune of 327 yards and three touchdowns through the air in the Tigers' 30-3 beatdown over the Irish. Sure, he wasn't on the field for much of the aerial assault, but Love did nothing to help his draft stock.

2. Kenny Willekes (Jr.), DE, Michigan State

Duane Burleson/Getty Images


Kenny Willekes hadn't publicly declared his intentions to return for a senior season at Michigan State or forgo it for the 2019 NFL Draft, but after breaking his leg in the 2018 Redbox Bowl, it appears he's more likely to return for another season in East Lansing. Though Willekes wasn't garnering as much attention as other Top-100 draft prospects, Mel Kiper Jr. labeled him as one of the top defensive ends in the country in mid-November, and he was also named the Big Ten's Lineman of the Year.

1. Justin Herbert (Jr.), QB, Oregon Ducks

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images


Justin Herbert was considered the top QB prospect of the entire 2019 NFL Draft class, but recently announced his intention to return to Oregon for his senior year. He then followed up this decision to tack on another year of college with a 19-for-33, one touchdown, 166-yard performance that saw the Ducks score just seven points against Michigan State in the 2018 Redbox Bowl.

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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.