Willis McGahee says he'd have never skipped a bowl game to preserve his health ... telling TMZ Sports the loyalty you get from your college team is worth more than all the NFL money in the world.
McGahee -- a star -- tore his ACL and MCL in a gruesome injury during the '02 Fiesta Bowl ... his last game at the University of Miami.
Willis was expected to be a top 5 pick before the injury ... but ended up being drafted 23rd. He missed his entire rookie season.
So, if anyone understands Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey sitting out, it'd be McGahee, right?
Not exactly ... check out the video.
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