Add another player to the list who appears to be skipping out on a bowl game to move on to the NFL.
According to 247Sports’ Bruin Report Online, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is going to sit out next week’s Cactus Bowl against Kansas State and is expected to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft at some point in the near future.
The junior will finish the season with 3,756 yards passing, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, ranking third in the country in passing yards per game as the heart of the Bruins’ offense. Those numbers would have been even better had he not continually dealt with injuries (again), suffering some concussion-like symptoms that kept him out of a game against Utah and limiting him at other times in 2017. He had one of his best games of the season against rival USC last month but was injured in the home finale at the Rose Bowl and sat out most of the second half against Cal.
As a former five-star recruit who has generated a number of off-the-field headlines at UCLA, Rosen will leave Westwood with a bit of a mixed legacy. While he is undeniably talented and may be the first signal-caller taken in the draft next year, the high-water mark in terms of wins with him under center was an 8-5 freshman campaign and he’s missed several games in subsequent seasons.
A lot of those struggles have something to do with the team around him and why head coach Jim Mora was replaced by Chip Kelly earlier this month. Still, when he was in the powder blues there were few college quarterbacks better than Rosen was throwing the football and he’ll likely be one of the most debated prospects at the position in the coming months by scouts and coaches as a result.