UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen gives heartfelt defence of players who skip bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft

  • UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen defended players who choose to skip their bowl games in favour of preparing for the NFL draft.
  • Rosen asked those who criticise players to consider the lives of the players off of the football field.
  • Rosen has not yet officially declared for the draft, but would likely be one of the first picks in the draft.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen gave a spirited defence of players who elect to skip their team’s bowl game in favour of preparing for the NFL draft.

Rosen, who is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2018 NFL Draft if he chooses to go pro, addressed the topic during a press conference on Saturday.

Rosen is currently in concussion protocol and will sit out of the Bruins’ Cactus Bowl matchup against Kansas State this week. But he did express a desire to suit up with his teammates for the game, but explained that he understood why many players chose to sit out their final college game instead. He argued that many players who elect to do so are unfairly maligned by fans and the media.

Rosen compared his situation as a quarterback to that of running backs who have received criticism for deciding to skip their team’s bowl games in previous years, such as Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette.

“For them it’s not an issue of if they’re getting hurt, it’s an issue of how severe, because most of those guys get banged up to some extent every single game,” Rosen said. “Quarterback is unique – we’ll take a few licks here and there, but nothing like the beating those guys take.”

Rosen went on to explain that he felt many didn’t think about all the reasons players might have for making such a decision.

“A lot of people bash them, but some of them have to realise that some of these guys have families, some of these guys have kids. Some of these guys really have to support the people around them. Some of them maybe have been put in unfortunate circumstances where they can’t afford to be in school for another year. They might want to…If they feel like they have locked in their future earnings to take care of their kids, or families, sisters, brothers, whatever, then I think people should really look into their story and see how football is affecting their life.”

You can watch Rosen’s comments in their entirety below.

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