Sophomore Brandon McKinney makes first career start in Rapp’s place.
PASADENA, Calif. — The Huskies were without All-American safety Taylor Rapp in the 105th Rose Bowl.
Rapp, a junior from Bellingham, said he suffered an injury to his hip flexor in the Huskies’ Pac-12 title-game victory over Utah and was held out of most of the December practices.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” Rapp told The Seattle Times after the game. “I’m more disappointed for the seniors and for everyone who didn’t go out the right way. Obviously, I feel like being not being out there — it’s just very disappointing.”
He was in full uniform during pregame warmups and said he wanted to play.
“I tried going pregame. It was a game-time decision and we all knew that. I tried giving it everything,” he said. “Just at the end of the day I didn’t feel like I was going to be effective out there. … I was getting treatment every day and doing stuff on my own at home. I really thought I could get back to it. It’s disappointing I couldn’t be out there on the field with my brothers tonight.”
A first-team all-Pac-12 safety the past two seasons, Rapp is giving strong consideration to declaring for the NFL draft. He said he was given a second-round grade from the NFL College Advisory Committee, as was UW’s third-year sophomore cornerback, Byron Murphy.
Both said they weren’t ready to announce a final decision about entering the NFL draft.
“We’ll see. I still have to talk to my parents. I haven’t made a decision yet … but it’s definitely going to be a difficult one,” Rapp said.
Sophomore safety Brandon McKinney made his first career start in Rapp’s place against Ohio State on Tuesday afternoon. He said he was practicing with the first-team defense for the last week and was preparing to start.
Rapp was assisting McKinney on the sideline between series.
“I feel bad letting B-Mac for the first time in this big of a game, so I felt it was in his best interest being in his ear all the time so he feels comfortable,” Rapp said.