Top Iowa and Tennessee Players Not Playing in the Citrus Bowl

    Iowa and Tennessee will compete in the Citrus Bowl but some star players will be missing. FInd out who won't be participating in the New Year's Day game.

    The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Tennessee Volunteers will compete in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. The game is part of college football’s New Year’s 6 slate of games that will offer a selection of high-quality matchups, including the Citrus Bowl and both College Football Playoff Semi-finals.

    However, there is an abundance of players who won’t be playing in the Citrus Bowl. Both Iowa and Tennessee have lost players to the transfer portal, the NFL Draft, and season-ending injuries.

    Top Iowa, Tennessee Players Not Playing in the Citrus Bowl

    Using the College Football Network Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker, we know several players from both sides will miss the Citrus Bowl.

    The bowl game is set to take place on January 1, 2024, at 1 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

    Iowa Players To Miss the Citrus Bowl

    There are big losses for Iowa on both sides of the ball, with the Hawkeyes losing the focal points of their offense and their best defensive player.

    Starting QB Cade McNamara is out because of an injury that he sustained earlier in the season. Meanwhile, backup QB Spencer Petras has entered the transfer portal. Deacon Hill will again be the starting QB for Iowa in the Citrus Bowl, having thrown for 1,096 yards and five touchdowns in 2023.

    MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    The Hawkeyes have also lost both their starting tight ends, with Erick All and Luke Lachey both out injured. They combined for 430 yards and three touchdowns in 2023. The Iowa passing attack was so uninspiring in 2023 that Erick All actually led the team in receiving yards (299) and receiving touchdowns (3).

    Star DB Cooper DeJean will also be unavailable for the Citrus Bowl, having suffered an injury in November. The lower leg injury ended his 2023 season, and DeJean may have played his last game as a Hawkeye. While he hasn’t officially declared, many are expecting DeJean to be one of the top defensive backs taken in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Iowa Players Expected To Miss the Citrus Bowl

    • Jackson Filer, EDGE (transfer portal)
    • Joe Labas, QB (transfer portal)
    • Brenden Deasfernandes, DB (transfer portal)
    • Anterio Thompson, DL (transfer portal)
    • Diante Vines, WR (transfer portal)
    • Spencer Petras, QB (transfer portal)
    • Cade McNamara, QB (injury)
    • Erick All, TE (injury)
    • Luke Lachey, TE (injury)
    • Cooper DeJean, DB (injury)

    Tennessee Players To Miss the Citrus Bowl

    There is a long list of players missing for Tennessee ahead of the Citrus Bowl, with the Vols losing players to the transfer portal and the NFL Draft.

    The biggest loss for Tennesee is their starting quarterback Joe Milton, who has opted out of the Citrus Bowl and declared for the NFL Draft. Posting on Instagram, he said, “Playing in the NFL has always been my dream since I was four years old. Now it’s time to turn those dreams into reality as I begin preparing for the 2024 NFL draft. Thanks, Vol nation for everything. JoJo out.”

    It means that Nico Iamaleava will start at QB for the Volunteers. Head coach Josh Heupel said during the week, “[Iamaleava’s] smart, he’s competitive. When he makes a mistake, young players always do that, he continues to learn and grow from it and does not repeat it.” Continuing, Heupel said, “I love the way he works inside of our building, and he has a great demeanor about him. He’s great at communicating with his teammates, as well.”

    Tennessee will also be missing key players in the backfield, with RB Jaylen Wright declaring for the NFL Draft. RB Jabari Small has also opted out of the Citrus Bowl, although no reason has currently been cited. That will leave Dylan Sampson as the lead back for the Vols as they try and break down Iowa’s stellar defense.

    Tennesee Players Expected To Miss the Citrus Bowl

    • Tamarion McDonald, DB (transfer portal)
    • De’Shawn Rucker, CB (transfer portal)
    • Doneiko Slaughter, CB (transfer portal)
    • Tyler Baron, EDGE (transfer portal)
    • Connor Meadows, iOL (transfer portal)
    • Addison Nichols, iOL (transfer portal)
    • Brandon Turnage, DB (transfer portal)
    • Jack Luttrell, DB (transfer portal)
    • Mo Clipper Jr., iOL (transfer portal)
    • Warren Burrell, CB (transfer portal)
    • Mekhi Bigelow, LB (transfer portal)
    • Wesley Walker, DB (transfer portal)
    • Jaylen Wright, RB (NFL Draft)
    • Jabari Small, RB (opt-out)
    • Joe Miton, QB (NFL Draft)

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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