Michigan's star tight end suffered a serious injury in last year's bowl game.
Those criticizing college football players for skipping their bowl games should just look at what happened to Jake Butt.
Michigan's star tight end suffered a brutal knee injury in last year's Orange Bowl against Florida State. He went from a potential first-round pick to a fifth-round selection.
Butt, though, says he has no regrets about playing in that game. He opened up about what happened in a piece for The Players' Tribune.
Since that day, a lot of people have asked me if I regret playing in that game.
They ask that if I could go back, would I have skipped the Orange Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft. A few other guys who were expected to be high draft picks had made that choice, and I remember some of my Michigan teammates, leading up to the Orange Bowl, asking me, “Dude, are you gonna play?” But in my mind, there was really no question. I was gonna play.
Some players who skipped their bowl games were criticized in the media and by fans. And even though I wouldn’t have considered sitting out in a million years, I didn’t see anything wrong with the decisions those guys made. I mean, I didn’t know anything about Leonard Fournette’s family situation or how Christian McCaffrey’s body felt, so who was I to judge them? Now, I know I wasn’t a projected top-10 pick like those guys, and there’s no way for me to honestly say what I would have done if I had been.
But I know that in my heart, I wanted to play in that game — for my teammates, for Coach Harbaugh and the rest of my coaches, and for the University of Michigan.
Good for Jake for feeling that way, but you couldn't blame him if he felt differently.
Michigan is set to take on South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. Kickoff is set for noon on ESPN2.