Billy Price sees positives, negatives in college stars skipping bowl games

Dec 27, 2016
Billy Price speaks at a press conference on Dec. 27, 2016, at the Camelback Inn.

Ohio State Buckeyes right guard Billy Price didn’t want to speculate about what coach Urban Meyer might say if one of his players decided to skip a bowl game instead of risking injury.

“I don’t think he’d be 100 percent for it,” said Price on Tuesday, four days before the Fiesta Bowl, in a press conference at the Camelback Inn. “That’s as far as I’ll go on that.”

College stars such as LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffery have decided to focus on their futures in the NFL instead of playing their final college games this season.

Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott came out against those types of decisions earlier this month, writing on Twitter he would do anything to play another game with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State's plane touched down Monday evening. The team continues preparation Tuesday for Saturday's game.

Elliott, Price and the rest of the Buckeyes watched Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith suffer a serious knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl a year ago. He slipped to the second round of the draft because of the injury.

“I hit him first, and then Taylor Decker hit him again, and he just landed weird,” Price said. “It wasn’t malicious. It was just one of those hits. That was a freak accident. People always worry about injury. I could walk outside and fall over the curb and roll my ankle and bust it. It’s just part of the game. It’s the risk we talk every time we step on the field. You never know when your last play is going to be.”

Price said no Buckeyes have talked about skipping games. Of course, they’re in the College Football Playoffs, and Fournette and McCaffery are skipping the Citrus Bowl and Sun Bowl, respectively. 

Of Fournette and McCaffery’s decisions, Price said, “I could see the positives and negatives. It’s a personal choice and what they deem is best for their future. ... I know Christian and Leonard have a high ceiling in the NFL. You have to sit down with your coaches and figure out what’s best for you.”