ANN ARBOR — It’s already known that one Michigan player will not suit up later this month for the team’s Peach Bowl game.
Might there be others that join Rashan Gary?
Jim Harbaugh wasn’t prepared to reveal that Sunday during a Peach Bowl news conference at Crisler Center, and likely will not ahead of the Dec. 29 game vs. Florida in Atlanta (noon, ESPN).
“I’ll let them make that decision or announcement,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t make announcements concerning that.”
Gary announced two weeks ago plans to forego his senior season at Michigan and enter the NFL draft. As a projected first-round pick, it made sense. As did his decision not to play in the bowl game, which, other than a potential win No. 11 for Michigan, offers little upside.
But what about others? Quarterback Shea Patterson, who says he’s still weighing his decision to enter April’s NFL draft, and defensive end Chase Winovich, who will have exhausted his collegiate eligibility at the end of this season, both say they plan to play in the Peach Bowl.
“Totally,” Winovich said. As does left guard Ben Bredeson, who also is weighing his NFL draft stock.
We have not heard from running back Karan Higdon, who rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns for Michigan in 2018. Higdon, too, elected to return to college for his senior season to help boost his NFL stock. He was a unanimous first team all-Big Ten selection.
Nor have we heard from junior cornerbacks Lavert Hill or David Long, both of whom also have the potential to play in the NFL. It’s unclear whether either player plans to declare for the NFL draft in April, but if they do, their chance of not playing in the bowl game increases.
Meanwhile, linebacker Devin Bush, Jr., a projected first-round pick who says he plans to make an announcement later this month or early next, gave an unclear response to Big Ten Network a few weeks ago when asked whether he would play in the Peach Bowl.
“I haven’t talked through that, but I definitely do want to play in that bowl game,” Bush said. “I still have some things that I’ve got to talk to my coaches about and my family, but I’m definitely going to play in the bowl game.”
TICKET SALES: As of Thursday afternoon, three and a half days in, Michigan had already sold more than 7,500 tickets to the Peach Bowl, athletic director Warde Manuel said Sunday night.
Bowl organizers have already declared the game a sellout at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with only face-value tickets available for purchase through Michigan and Florida’s athletic departments. Michigan is selling individual tickets for $160 each.
“We even sold out all the expandable seats, which there is about 3,500 of those,” said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of the Peach Bowl. “So, it’s going to be probably about 74,000 people in there.”
Comparatively, Michigan sold about 8,000 tickets to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., last year.