Linebacker Germaine Pratt has become the second NC State football star to announce his decision not to play in the Wolfpack’s upcoming Gator Bowl game against Texas A&M.
A graduate student who led State with 104 tackles and is tied for the team lead with 6.0 sacks despite missing one game because of injury, Pratt will instead concentrate on preparing for the NFL draft, school officials have confirmed.
Earlier this week, junior Kelvin Harmon — the Wolfpack’s leading receiver — also said he would not play in the New Year’s Eve game in Jacksonville, Fla., while also foregoing his senior season.
Pratt began his career at State as a safety before being moved to linebacker. He was a key reserve, known for his big play ability, until finally earning a starting position and becoming a team leader this season.
His spot in the lineup will be taken by sophomore Brock Miller, who started against North Carolina on Nov. 24 and whose fumble recovery and return to the 1-yard line against East Carolina last Saturday set up center Garrett Bradbury’s now-famous touchdown run.
Now that Pratt and Harmon have announced their decisions, the Wolfpack will wait to see what quarterback Ryan Finley does.
A senior projected as a high round pick, Finley was noncommittal when asked following the ECU game if he’s thought about skipping the bowl. Though he didn’t give a definitive answer, the first-team All-ACC selection hinted that he’s leaning toward playing, saying “Yeah, I’m planning on it for sure.”