Wisconsin is gearing up for a trip to the Rose Bowl, but there is currently some doubt about who may suit up for that bowl game.
Over the past couple of seasons, more and more college players have decided to sit out bowl games in the postseason. The reasoning for most players has been to avoid injury ahead of the NFL Draft.
One player that will have to make a decision on his bowl game availability is Oregon QB Justin Herbert. The star signal-caller is a senior who returned for the 2019 season despite some analysts projecting him as a potential first-round pick.
Following a second straight 3,000-yard season, Herbert definitely appears to be a near-lock to be taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. still thinks Herbert should play in the Rose Bowl.
His reasoning? To see how Herbert stacks up against a strong Wisconsin defense:
“You think about the Utah game. Yes, they won, but you think about a 54% completion percentage…for the final three games, he’s right around 57%,” explained Kiper. “You’re going up against Wisconsin and (DC) Jim Leonhard. You want to see, if you’re an NFL GM, how does he deal with Leonhard’s defense?”
Kiper tweeted the video of his comments:
— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) December 10, 2019
Regardless of who lines up under center, the Badgers will look to finish the season with a win in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin is looking for its sixth straight bowl win but its first Rose Bowl win since 2000.