KSL UNRIVALED

Devin Kaufusi: Opting Out Is ‘Not The Attitude Of This Utah football Team’

Dec 29, 2021, 9:32 AM | Updated: 2:13 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 16: Devin Kaufusi #90 of the Utah Utes reacts as he leaves the field a...
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 16: Devin Kaufusi #90 of the Utah Utes reacts as he leaves the field after upsetting the Arizona State Sun Devils October 16, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Going to the Rose Bowl is a huge deal for the University of Utah football team. It’s their first time at the “Granddaddy Of Them All” and Utah is ready to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

While the Utes seem ready to roll, the Buckeyes have four players opting out of this game to avoid injury and prepare for the NFL draft.

Those not playing are wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere

Players electing to not play in a bowl game is a fairly new trend. However, the Rose Bowl is not just any other bowl game. Even though it is not part of the College Football Playoff, it holds a special place amongst all of the bowl games.

The Buckeyes are used to going to the playoff and have appeared in four semifinal games, so not having a chance to play for a title is apparently a bit of a bummer for some of those players.

As for Utah, there have been six players who have declared for the NFL Draft but they have elected to play in the Rose Bowl. That includes All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd who is projected as an early first-round pick.

Devin Kaufusi who joins Unrivaled every week said there has been zero talk about skipping the Rose Bowl.

“That’s not the attitude of this Utah football team and it hasn’t even been thought about,” Kaufusi said. “I haven’t even batted an eye thinking of our top guys and the seniors and the leaders of this team not playing. It just wouldn’t be the Utah football team. That wouldn’t be the culture for them to opt out. We’ve all been practicing. We’ve all been playing, because we’ve gone through that 1-2, we’ve gone through the losses, and the and the hardships and we’ve been together. It’s the Rose Bowl. I mean, what else you got?”

“It’s an easy sell when you’re at the Rose Bowl going up against the Ohio State, and so everyone wants a piece of it. We’re fired up about it this opportunity that we have.”

Devin Lloyd Could Have Easily Opted Out

The one player that has a decent argument to not play in the Rose Bowl is Lloyd and it would be hard for people to blame him for wanting to protect himself for his NFL future.

Lloyd has accomplished basically everything he can as a Ute by winning awards and earning honors this season. A Rose Bowl win would make all of those things even sweeter and be the icing on the cake of an amazing Utah football career.

Lloyd is considered as high as top-10 in some mock drafts but the Pac-12 defensive player of the year wants to stick by his teammates and be part of arguably the best Utah football team in program history for one more game.

Plus, as Kaufusi said it best on Unrivaled, “It’s the Rose Bowl. I mean, what else you got?”

So, to leave this team and prepare for the Draft would be somewhat of a sour note for how the season would end. Instead, Lloyd wants to be part of history as a member of the first-ever Utah football team to play in the Rose Bowl, and hopefully to get the victory.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-7 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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