Ohio State wide receiver Emeka Egbuka still faces an NFL draft decision, but in the mean time, he’s going to make sure he puts his best foot forward for the Buckeyes in the Cotton Bowl.
“I am playing in the bowl game,” he said on Dec. 12. “That’s one thing that’s for sure. I think it’s important to end the season on the right note with a win against a really good team. I’m excited to have another chance to be on the field with my brothers. As for my future, I’m totally undecided.”
Both of Egbuka’s options have intriguing upside – should he leave for the professional ranks, he is projected as a first-round pick and a top-five receiver in his class. His stock potentially took a dip this season, however, as his production fell due to several missed game as a result of a lower-body injury.
So while a first-round selection is in the cards for Egbuka, there was no question – regardless of what decision he ultimately makes – as to whether or not he would play in the Cotton Bowl in what could be his final game with the Buckeyes.
“I feel like every chance you get to step on the field is something you shouldn’t take for granted,” he said. “Playing football, we’re blessed to be able to do so. You never know when an injury might come or your opportunities to play with some of your best friends might run out. Just getting an opportunity to go down to a great venue in Dallas and play against an opponent that’s really good is a blessing in itself, so it’s something I didn’t want to pass up. It’s just another opportunity to showcase my abilities.”
Egbuka will get through the Cotton Bowl – where he is expected to be joined by several other draft-eligible teammates – before making a final decision on his future at Ohio State. Whether that’s in Columbus next season or entering the draft, Egbuka is comfortable he will have the right people guiding his decision.
“There’s a ton of factors that go into it as far as the things I’m deciding between,” he said. “That’s something that I’ve just been working through with my corner, my family and all that type of stuff. Stuff that I don’t necessarily want to get into right now, but there’s positives on both sides. There’s negatives on both sides, as well.
“It’s definitely a decision that is going to be important. But it’s nothing that the people here at Ohio State won’t help me with.”