More bowls; more opt outs

January 1, 2023

More bowls; more opt outs … You know that the non-playoff bowls are in trouble when players start opting out of the Rose Bowl, one of four bowls to be played on Monday. Utah QB Cam Rising, will play when the Utes meet Penn State at 5 PM ET on ABC. Actually so will Sean Clifford the veteran Penn State, but none of either teams best pro prospects for 2023 – CB Joey Porter and WR Parker Washington for the Nittany Lions and CB Clark Phillips and TE Dalton Kincaid of Utah – will play as they have opted out to start draft preparations. In fact, it would probably be most efficient to note which top prospects in Monday’s games. Mississippi State, for example, will have rising CB Emmanual Forbes, a late first or early second round candidate, and QB Will Rogers in uniform when they play Illinois in the ReliaQuest Bowl at Noon ET on ESPN2, as will Illini DT Jer’zahn Newton, a 3rd day prospect, but neither star Illinois RB Chase Brown nor rising CB Devon Witherspoon will. Meanwhile, USC DT Tuli Tuipolatu, who reportedly has not decided whether or not to enter the draft, will play in the Cotton Bowl (1 PM ET; ESPN) when the Trojans face Tulane, the non-power 5 conference ‘champions.’ The Trojans are also hoping to have Heisman Trophy winning QB Caleb Williams available, but he’ll be a game time decision because of that hamstring injury he suffered in the PAC-12 conference title game. However, if Williams does play he won’t have WR Jordan Addison to throw to as he is nursing an ankle injury. and to keep it short, nobody of note will be playing in the Citrus Bowl (1 PM ET; ABC) where LSU plays Purdue.