Gophers standouts Tyler Nubin, Brevyn Spann-Ford won’t play in bowl game

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DETROIT — Two key Gophers players will sit out the Quick Lane Bowl against Bowling Green at Ford Field.

Safety Tyler Nubin and tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford have been with the team since they arrived in Michigan on Friday, but won’t play in the game on Tuesday.

Both seniors are candidates to be selected in the NFL Draft in April and have been invited to compete in the Senior Bowl showcase for top pro prospects on Feb. 3 in Mobile, Ala.

Nubin was named first-team all-Big Ten in 2023 with 53 tackles and five interceptions in all 12 games. He set a program record with 13 career INTs.

Spann-Ford, who has honorable mention all-Big Ten, was third on the team with 25 receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns in 12 regular-season games in 2023.

Last season, Gophers center John Michael Schmitz opted out of the Pinstripe Bowl before being drafted by the New York Giants. Two years ago, defensive end Boye Mafe played in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl before being taken by the Seattle Seahawks. And in 2018, linebacker Blake Cashman opted out of the Quick Lane Bowl before being drafted by the New York Jets.

Injuries hitting D

The Gophers defense will be shorthanded at all three levels against Bowling Green, according to the U’s status report released two hours before kickoff.

Two linebackers — Devon Williams and Maverick Baranowski — are out, but Cody Lindenberg is not on the status report.

On top of Nubin, safety Darius Green is also out, and while he’s not listed Aidan Gousby is also out.

It appears true freshman Kerry Brown will get his first career start; he has played in four games as a reserve.

Cornerback Tre’Von Jones is questionable after leaving the Wisconsin loss with an upper-body injury.

Defensive line is the healthiest position group, with only backup rush end Chris Collins listed as out.

On offense, seventh-year senior Chris Autman-Bell is out. Autman-Bell, the last remaining player fro head coach P.J. Fleck’s first recruiting class in 2017, has dealt with injures the last two seasons.

Autman-Bell eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark this year, coming back from a season-ending knee injury in 2022. He had six receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown this season and finished his career with 131 receptions for 2,058 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The U also listed five reserve players as out: Jack Tinnen, Jackson Powers, Zander Rockow, Lucas Finnessy and Karter Shaw.

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