After announcing last week that he will skip his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL draft, Michigan junior Rashan Gary won’t play in the Wolverines’ bowl game, either.
Gary, a 6-foot-5, 283-pound defensive lineman who could be a first-round selection, has decided to skip the Peach Bowl against Florida, coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters on Sunday. Like other NFL prospects, Gary has apparently decided to immediately begin preparing for the NFL instead of risking injury in a bowl game.
Gary, a versatile defensive lineman, was the No. 1 recruit in the country when he was coming out of Paramus Catholic in Paramus, New Jersey, in the class of 2016. He has been a steady presence for the Wolverines since arriving on campus.
“I would like to thank my higher power, my family, the University of Michigan, the students and the fans. I will be forgoing my senior season to make a dream come true to declare for the draft. Thank you. Go Blue,” Gary said in a video when announcing his decision.
Gary had 27 tackles and five tackles for loss as a reserve true freshman before emerging as a starter the last two seasons. As a sophomore, Gary totaled 66 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and six sacks en route to first-team All-Big Ten honors.
In nine games this season, Gary registered 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He missed three games in October while dealing with a shoulder injury.
His absence led fans to wonder if Gary wanted to sit out the rest of the season in order to be healthy for the pre-draft process. However, Gary returned for the Penn State game on Nov. 3 and played out the rest of the regular season, including the loss to Ohio State.
The loss to Ohio State kept Michigan out of the Big Ten title game and College Football Playoff and moved UM down to the Peach Bowl as the No. 7 team in the final CFP rankings.
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