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Second UK football player drops out of upcoming bowl game

Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. announced he will not play in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 31.
Credit: AP
Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) evades a tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — There are now two high-profile University of Kentucky football players that have pulled out of the upcoming bowl game on New Year's Eve.

Running Back Chris Rodriguez has announced he will not play for Kentucky in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

Rodriguez has an impressive career at the university, including:

  • 26 career touchdowns, tied for second most in UK
  • 2,740 career rushing touchdowns, sixth most for UK
  • SEC's leading return rusher
  • Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List
  • Maxwell Award Watch List

UK's newest Team Captain said he will instead be focusing on getting healthy for the NFL Draft in April. 

Just yesterday, the university's quarterback tweeted that he won't be playing in the bowl game against Iowa for similar reasons.

Will Levis took to Twitter and said: "I have decided to forego my final college football game, look to that next step, and declare for the 2023 NFL Draft."

Levis thanked his teammates, UK staff members, Wildcat community and BBN in his online statement. He said he would "forever be indebted" to everyone he met while at UK and that his "immense love" for the college will always remain strong. 

In the statement he also reflected on his time at UK, saying he's met lifelong friends, learned from the coaches and established connections with mentors. He said he found "belief" and "confidence" in himself while at the school.

"If I have one thing to hold in my heart from my time in Lexington, it's that Kentucky has my back and that everything ahead of me wouldn't be possible without the support and encouragement I received along the way," Levis said in the statement. 

He made the announcement that he would enter the NFL draft during an interview on Twitter on Nov. 30 with the account Blue Chips

He is projected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken off the board in April. 

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