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Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette skipping bowls to prepare for NFL. What's next?

Stanford star Christian McCaffrey is skipping his bowl game to get ready for the draft.

AP photo

Stanford star Christian McCaffrey is skipping his bowl game to get ready for the draft.

19

December

First LSU standout running back Leonard Fournette announced that he'll skip the Tigers' bowl game (in Orlando) to rest an ankle injury and prepare for the NFL draft.

Now Stanford star Christian McCaffrey is skipping his bowl game to get ready for the draft.

Rest easy, Florida State fans: I don't expect Dalvin Cook to follow the same path.

Beyond that, what's next?

I asked some college football folks a related question in the spring and summer: Are we getting to a point where NFL-bound players skip their junior season entirely to get ready for the draft? 

Some of the responses:

Texas A&M defensive end (and likely first-round pick) Myles Garrett: "It could get to that point, but I hope it doesn't. It's hurting the game. You don't disgrace the game like that, saying it's not worth my time, I'll be a first-round pick anyway. You play because you love it, not because you can just make money from it."

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher: "No. Football's not a game you can do that in...I think if you do, you'll regress, and I think you'll shorten your career the other way. And if we start going down that road, it's bad. You know what a coach will do? Quit playing him. Don't play as a freshman, if we go down that road, which would be a travesty. ... If you start thinking that way, you'll never progress and be what you can be." 

Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden: "I don't think they'd be wise to do that. If a boy decides to not play his last year and sit out, I think the pros would lose a lot of confidence in him."

Former NFL running back Troy Hambrick-Grant: "It has to go that way. It has to go that way, because now the universities are getting exploited on how much money they made. It's about the capital now. Finances rule everything. Once players start seeing that and parents start seeing what the kids, what the jerseys, what the fans are seeing, what America is seeing, how can't you secure your investment?"

[Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2016 12:21pm]

    

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