Despite being injured, Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta has decided to play in the Music City Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

While leading the Hawkeyes in receiving yards, LaPorta tore his meniscus two weeks before the season ended against Minnesota, needing surgery. However, he wanted one more chance after seeing the Hawkeyes miss out on the Big Ten Football Championship Game after a loss to Nebraska.

Rather than prep for the NFL Draft early, LaPorta has been part of the last nine practices and says by game time he should be 100 percent.

“I’ve been here four years and this program has given me more than I could’ve ever imagined,” LaPorta said. “It’s just really important to me. Putting on that black and gold one last time — lay it all out there. We were talking in the team meeting this morning if you’re not 100 percent invested then we don’t want you out there because we want everyone to give it their all. If you’re here, you’re invested and I’m here and want to be here. I’ve been just getting ready for this bowl game and that’s where focus has been. Anything from January 1 on is in the near future. I’m not really paying much attention to that but I think I’m squared away. “

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