Moore: How should UW Huskies feel going into bowl without 2 players?
The UW Huskies will play Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl without starting left tackle Trey Adams and tight end Hunter Bryant, who have decided it’s not worth it to risk injury in their final college football game before entering the 2020 draft.
I’ll spell out my reaction to that. L-A-M-E. Or this will work too. W-E-A-K.
Where do I get off questioning the decisions by college football players who are looking out for their best future interests? I don’t know, but while you’re getting off my lawn, I’ll just tell you I don’t like it when players bail on their teammates before a season is officially over.
Yes, there’s a chance that Bryant and Adams could be injured in the Las Vegas Bowl and hurt their potential earnings by falling in the draft. But when I put myself in their cleats, I wonder if I could tell my teammates that I’m opting out of the final game that I’ll play with a bunch of guys that I’ve spent the last four or five years with.
And if I’m one of those teammates, I’ll tell you exactly how I’d feel about their lame decision to quit playing for our team. I’d probably tell Bryant and Adams that I completely understand. If I were in their position, I maybe would do the same thing. I would be lying to their faces. Behind their backs, I would complain about them putting themselves ahead of our team.
Think about it. Without Bryant and Adams, it will be harder for the Huskies to beat Boise State and send Chris Petersen out of college football coaching with a victory. They would probably say it’s a meaningless bowl game, and yes, it’s a lower-rung bowl, I get that. But still, think about this too: Jacob Eason has had an up-and-down season even with Bryant and Adams.
Without them, Eason will have one less target to throw to and a backup left tackle who won’t be as good as Adams. What if the backup left tackle allows a pass rusher to get to Eason and Eason gets hurt? If I’m Adams, I’m sitting there watching the game, thinking, “Man, I might have been able to stop that guy from getting to my quarterback and this never would have happened if I hadn’t put my own selfish interests ahead of the team’s.”
And if I’m Petersen, I’m not allowing Bryant or Adams anywhere near team practices this month or anywhere near the sideline for the Las Vegas Bowl. They have gone from OKGs (Our Kinda Guys) to NOKGA (Not Our Kinda Guys Anymore).
I’m not trashing on these kids because they’re Huskies. If WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon pulled out of the Cheez-It Bowl, I’d trash on him too.
Play out your college career, or at least your final season if you want to call it quits at the end of your junior year, which is the case with Bryant. And I even think back to the decision Jake Locker made when he chose to return for his senior season rather than declare for the draft after his junior season – even though he was projected to go No. 1 overall and it was the last year when top draft choices could really rake in the millions, as opposed to the following year when Locker was selected eighth overall by the Titans.
Locker wanted to experience as much college football as he could, and he had more to lose than Adams and Bryant. From looking at NFL prospect rankings, Adams is projected to go in the second round. It’s not like he’s the top offensive lineman in the draft. CBSSports.com has him rated as the eighth-best offensive lineman. Bryant, in the same CBSSports.com rankings, has him as the fourth-best tight end prospect, projecting him to go in the third round.
To protect themselves, couldn’t Adams and Bryant have gotten Lloyds of London or some insurance company to protect them in case of injury in the Las Vegas Bowl?
But no, they decided that their future interests were more important than the team’s. And that’s pretty sad.