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Scout: Randy Gregory 'shut it down' in Holiday Bowl loss

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Questions about Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory's failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine have been enough to muddle his draft projections. Now, an NFL scout has added something else to the list of concerns about Gregory: his effort level in the Cornhuskers' final game of the season.

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In discussing the effort of prospects in bowl games, a scout told jsonline.com that, unlike Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Gregory didn't play as hard as he should have in Nebraska's 45-42 loss to Southern Cal in the Holiday Bowl.

"I like him," the scout said of Gordon and his 251-yard performance in a 34-31 win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. "Guys like Randy Gregory shut it down in bowl games. Gordon played one of his better games the last game of the year (against Auburn). I think he likes the game."

If Gregory did give his best effort in the game, the box score certainly didn't show it. Gregory recorded four tackles, two assisted, and had zeroes across the rest of his stat line. And it's not as though he didn't have many opportunities -- USC piled up 22 first downs and attempted 39 passes on its way to 515 total yards.

Whether Gregory was healthy is somewhat of a question, however.

Interim coach Barney Cotton indicated before the bowl game that Gregory was fully ready to play after missing the team's last regular season game. Yet just four days before the game, Gregory said he had played with a toe injury throughout the season: "You don't want to see my big toe -- it's that messed up," Gregory told theindependent.com.

Injured or not, at least one scout didn't see what he hoped to see from Gregory in the Cornhuskers' bowl loss.

For Gregory's sake, it's a sentiment that doesn't need to permeate in too many scouting departments.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread

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