Linebacker Darien Butler won’t play in Arizona State’s Dec. 30 Las Vegas Bowl showdown against Wisconsin after all.
The Sun Devil team captain released a statement on social media on Friday saying he would instead begin preparing for the NFL Draft.
Butler missed the final two games of the regular season with a concussion. He practiced in ASU’s first practice in preparation for the bowling game, but did not practice afterward. It was unclear if he was not practicing because of the concussion or because he was skipping the bowl game.
Asked about Butler’s availability on Tuesday, head coach Herm Edwards was vague.
“We’ll see, but it’s uncertain. But we’ll see what happens. He’s trying,” Edwards said.
Butler had previously accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, an indication that he did not plan to return for another season, but there was hope that he would still participate in the bowling game.
Butler, a four-year-old starter, was second on the team in tackles with 68 to go with 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, three interceptions and three breakups.
Real freshman Eric Gentry and redshirt freshman Connor Soelle are the likely candidates to start in Butler’s place.
Those who have already retired from bowl play include running back Rachaad White and cornerbacks Jack Jones and Chase Lucas. Center Dohnovan West (hand) is also out through injury, with guard Henry Hattis also likely to be injured.
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