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DT Justin Madubuike declares for NFL Draft, will not play in Texas Bowl

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Aggies lose team leader in sacks, tackles for loss

Arkansas v Texas A&M Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Aggie fans got the news they were likely expecting but did not want to hear on Thursday: junior defensive end Justin Madubuike will forego his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Madubuike also announced that he will not play in the Texas Bowl against Oklahoma State on Dec. 27.

Madubuike’s decision shouldn’t come as a shock. He was a dominant interior lineman all season for A&M, leading the team in sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (11.5). He will likely be a first or second-round pick in the draft. That being the case, it’s absolutely in his best interest to go now and strike while the iron is hot.

Skipping the bowl game is one aspect that some might take exception to, but it is becoming more and more common in college football. Ultimately, it’s hard to blame a player for wanting to play it safe when the regular season has ended, the team has no chance for any sort of conference or national title, and a significant injury could cost them millions of dollars. Justin has put decades of work into preparing himself to one day play football professionally, and years at Texas A&M helping this team win. Ultimately, him skipping one game does not hurt A&M, and it ensures his health as he looks to maximize his draft stock. It’s hard to fault him for that, and I think the vast majority of us would do the same thing in his position.

If nothing else, Madubuike’s departure provides additional practice time and game experience for players who will play a bigger role for the Aggies in 2020.

Poll

How do you feel about Madubuike’s decision?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    He was right to leave and to skip the bowl game
    (339 votes)
  • 28%
    Leaving is fine, but he should play in the bowl
    (167 votes)
  • 12%
    He should’ve stayed for his senior season
    (74 votes)
580 votes total Vote Now