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Mark Stoops gives update on UK’s NFL hopefuls playing in Citrus Bowl

It ‘sounds’ like Kentucky won’t have anyone sit out of the Citrus Bowl, but it’s not a done deal.

Stoops Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats’ final game will come against Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

Not long after Kentucky’s bowl destination was announced, head coach Mark Stoops spoke with reporters via teleconference about the big day. There, he talked about the matchup with Penn State, but more importantly, he gave a brief update on Kentucky’s NFL hopefuls and if they could sit out of the bowl game.

“As of right now, I anticipate a full roster, but I can’t answer that 100 percent at this point in time.”

Stoops added he’s going to have more conversations with Josh Allen about his decision.

It has become common practice for top collegiate football players to sit out of bowl games to prepare for the NFL Draft and avoid injury leading up to the draft. That’s why there is speculation Kentucky’s top prospects, Josh Allen and Benny Snell, may consider doing so this year.

Snell has actually said he plans to play in the bowl.

“As of now, I’m playing in the bowl game. I’m not done yet,” said Snell following Kentucky’s win over Louisville. “To add on to this, it’s not really important, but I keep it in my mind. The all-time rushing record, I got 100 tonight, so I need 100 more, and the bowl game would help me with that.”

Snell isn’t projected as a first-round pick, and he also is just 107 yards to break the school’s all-time rushing record, so there’s plenty of incentive for him to play in this game.

Allen is who has a lot more to lose by playing in the bowl game. He’s being projected in the top-15 of the 2019 NFL Draft by many experts. Some even have Allen going as high as the top five.

Sitting out of the bowl ‘shouldn’t’ affect his stock much, if at all, so no one should blame him if he were to sit out.

That’s why his decision will be much harder, and he’s planning to take as much time as possible before making it.

“Just like the decision I made to come back (to school),” Allen said after the win over Louisville. “It will be the same process. I have a whole month, almost two months to decide what I’m going to do, what’s best for my family and the team. It’s going to be a decision I have to make, but we’ll see. We’ll see when the bowl game comes around.”

Other Kentucky NFL hopefuls include cornerback Derrick Baity, Mike Edwards, Darius West and Jordan Jones.