It has become commonplace for the top names in the upcoming NFL draft to decide to sit out their college team’s bowl game in an effort to preserve their health for the future. On Tuesday, one college coach announced he made the decision for his player.
Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz said he made the decision to sit running back Tyler Badie, who had a record-breaking season for the Tigers, in an effort to keep him healthy for the NFL, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.
“What if something went wrong and I had to look myself in the mirror?” Drinkwitz said, according to the Daily Tribune. “I couldn’t do that.”
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According to the Columbia Missourian’s Wilson Moore, Badie wanted to have a chance to play in the game.
Drinkwitz says it was the coaching staff’s decision in looking out for the running back’s future. Says Badie would have liked to play. https://t.co/W2YnMBn4Hw
— Wilson Moore (@wilsmoore_) December 21, 2021
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Badie set the single-season school record with 1,604 yards during the 2021 season, scoring a touchdown in all but one game to tally 14 on the ground. He also caught 54 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns. The senior had previously never rushed for more than 457 yards in a season.
Badie was named a second-team All-American by both The Sporting News and by the Associated Press, while Pro Football Focus named him to the third team.
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In his place, Dawson Downing will start at running back, the Daily Tribune reported. Downing, another senior running back, rushed 10 times during the 2021 season and totaled 83 rushing yards on the ground, including a touchdown.