“Big Blue Nation, thank you for everything! I can’t tell you how much your support this past year has meant to me,” Rodriguez wrote. ”Although I’m going to sit out the bowl game to focus on my health and prepare for my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL, I’ll be in the Music City to support my brothers and I hope to see you there! Kentucky always!”
Rodriguez finishes his Kentucky football career with 592 rushing attempts for 3,643-yards (5.2 yards per carry) and 33 touchdowns. He also finished with 20 career receptions for 116-yards and 3 touchdowns.
His rushing stats put him in third on Kentucky’s all-time list behind Benny Snell (3,873) and Sonny Collins (3,835), just 230-yards short of the record. His 33 touchdowns puts him second all-time behind Snell (48).
One of the best running backs in school history is now on to the NFL Draft.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:
Chris Rodriguez will not play in the Music City Bowl pic.twitter.com/OqtEhKrU2Z— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 8, 2022
Chris Rodriguez will not play in the bowl game and prep for the NFL draft. Best of luck to Chris and thanks for everything 24!— Fifth Quarter Kentucky (@FQKentucky) December 8, 2022
Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez will not play in the Music City Bowl.— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) December 8, 2022
Will Levis will also sit out.
Those two accounted for 76.8 percent of Kentucky's total offensive production this season
chris rodriguez is in the top 5 running backs for this class. sunday player forsure.— Kyron Samuels (@kyronsamuels) December 8, 2022
Had planned on making the trip to Nashville for the Music City Bowl. However, with both Will Levis & Chris Rodriguez opting out, I'll be staying home.— Brandon Ramsey (@BRamseyKSR) December 8, 2022
Not mad at those guys at all, but not worth going now when you can stay home and watch BOTH basketball & football.
Transfers and opt-outs are handicapping coaches and their teams.— Jalen Whitlow (@JWhitlow_2) December 8, 2022
The lack of depth and experience is real.
Coaching staffs across the country will have to get really creative this bowl season.
Flip side, creates opportunities for new guys. Exciting time for them. https://t.co/k5Gu0AgFAv
Happy for CRod and Levis, literally no bad feelings for them sitting out. But it for damn sure makes the basketball game ten times more appealing ♀️— Jortney (@Wildcatty11) December 8, 2022
No Levis. No CRod. Is this rapidly becoming a glorified spring game?— Darrell Bird (@DarrellBird) December 8, 2022
The CRod decision is honestly kinda surprising to me but I respect it.— McElroy11 (@McelroyCullen) December 8, 2022
CROD finishes his collegiate career with 3,644 yards, putting him 3rd on UK's all-time list behind Benny Snell (3,873) and Sonny Collins (3,835). He holds the record for most 100-yard rushing games (20).— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisTV) December 8, 2022
Gonna miss watching him run people over #BBN pic.twitter.com/ey7V0sDFB0
Man, I hate that. Was hoping for one last ride but I understand, he gave us more than enough.— AP (@APriar94) December 8, 2022
Thanks for the memories C-Rod! For my money, the best back in school history.
It was an honor to watch you play @CROD_JR https://t.co/h55aZQZaVr
Thanks for the memories @CROD_JR ! Good luck, hope you get the shot you deserve in the league!— Kentucky Irish (@kentucky_irish) December 8, 2022
When I tell my kids how Chris Rodriguez was an absolute tank, I’m gonna show them this clip— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) November 20, 2022
While one player is leaving, the Cats are adding a huge piece for their 2023 roster as Alabama offensive line transfer Tanner Bowles announced on Kentucky Sports Radio he has committed to Kentucky.
“After taking a couple of visits and just talking to my family I’ve decided that I’m going to be committing to the University of Kentucky,” Bowles told Matt Jones.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder will be a redshirt senior next fall and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Bowles is an interior offensive lineman that spent time at center, right and left guard at Alabama. It is most likely that Bowles slides in at right guard for the Cats.
The Kentucky native was ranked as a 4-star in the 2019 class and was the No. 34 overall offensive tackle, according to On3 Consensus.
A big pickup for Mark Stoops and the Cats, and a piece that can help the offensive line that struggled in 2022.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the commitment:
Updated with quotes from Bowles' call into KSR.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) December 8, 2022
"Entering the transfer portal, there were a lot of options I could have taken but just having that atmosphere of being around the University of Kentucky, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity."https://t.co/kNTFhYe1Ws
Starting to feel like UK could finish this class in a really big way. This is the best the outlook has been in a long time and its the best time for that.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 8, 2022
Can Tanner Bowles bring over some more of his Alabama OL buddies??— Kentucky Bias (@kentuckybias) December 8, 2022
Hes a Cat!!! And QB1s best friend!!! pic.twitter.com/uECqMR0y1y— J-rod (@JByGodRod) December 8, 2022
Alabama transfer Tanner Bowles is a Wildcat pic.twitter.com/4RY3sk7g86— Barstool Kentucky (@BarstoolUK) December 8, 2022
Breaking News: Alabama OT transfer Tanner Bowles is headed to Kentucky!! HUGE pickup for the Cats #BBN— 13thRegionMediaNetwork (@BoysGirls13th) December 8, 2022
Kentucky has landed a commitment from Alabama transfer OL Tanner Bowles.— Aaron Gershon (@agershon99) December 8, 2022
Native of Glasgow who has played in a reserve role for the Crimson Tide mostly at guard.
First transfer portal pick up with many more to come for the Cats.@247SportsPortal
Kentucky lands it’s first transfer in Alabama OL Tanner Bowles.— Hunter Shelton (@HunterShelton_) December 8, 2022
Glasgow, Ky native could slide in at right guard for Tashawn Manning. https://t.co/G16HtyEn3L
Congrats to fellow former Scottie on his decision to play at UK!! Good Luck Tanner Bowles!! pic.twitter.com/7dbaKOI2VA— Billy Lindsey (@CoachBLindsey) December 8, 2022