Mullen Doesn't Expect Other Gators to Skip Orange Bowl

Zach Goodall

With multiple players off to pro football following a successful season at Florida, you'd figure that more announcements of players intending to skip the 2019 Orange Bowl were on their way, following cornerback C.J. Henderson's declaration for the NFL.

Dan Mullen doesn't see it that way.

During a media teleconference call, following the Gators' (10-2, 6-2 SEC) Florida's New Year's Six Bowl berth and being placed in the Orange Bowl against the No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers (9-4, 6-2 ACC), Mullen said that everyone other than Henderson was at practice on Saturday.

"The majority of guys I’ve met with, I haven’t met with anybody else that I think is even pondering [missing the bowl game]," Mullen said. "We’ll see moving forward, you never know how things shake out."

Senior defensive ends Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, as well as running back Lamical Perine and wide receiver Van Jefferson, have all received invitations to the 2020 Senior Bowl in January for a chance to boost their draft stock. 

It wouldn't have been shocking if any of these players made the business decision to miss the game, but as of today, Mullen appears confident that they will suit up.

When asked of his message to players considering that option, Mullen said "The same thing it is for everybody. If guys are thinking about their future, most importantly is to be all in or all out."

"The most important thing is that guys are all in or all out on their decision and they have no regrets in what they do," Mullen continued. "Hopefully, the guys really want to finish the season the right way and enjoy playing in a big-time game.”

With just over 20 days until the bowl game and a deadline of January 20th, 2020 for any underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, anything could change. But as of right now, it appears that only Henderson won't lace up his cleats down in Miami on December 30th.

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