Baylor running back Shock Linwood has joined LSU's Leonard Fournette and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey in deciding to skip his team's bowl game to focus on preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Linwood's situation, however, is quite different from those of Fournette and McCaffrey. Fournette and McCaffrey, both juniors, are considered two of the top running backs in college football, and their decision to sit out a bowl game isn't expected to have a negative impact on their draft status.
Linwood (5-feet-9, 200 pounds) is a senior whose draft status isn't nearly as clear. In fact, NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt believes Linwood could be fortunate just to hear his name called at all. He broke Baylor's all-time rushing record earlier this season and has 4,213 yards for his career. However, under interim coach Jim Grobe this season, he rushed for a career-low 751 yards and was suspended for Baylor's game against Oklahoma due to an attitude problem.
Given that Linwood still has much to prove where his draft value is concerned, sitting out the Cactus Bowl amounts to a missed opportunity to impress NFL scouts. There is no shortage of game film on Linwood, who amassed more than 700 carries in his Bears career. However, given his suspension earlier in the season, sitting out a bowl game isn't the best way to make a final impression.