Minnesota star receiver Rashod Bateman announced that he is opting out of the 2020 college football season. He made his statement via an Instagram post on August 4th. Bateman is one of seven college football players who opted out of the 2020 season, per Yahoo Sports. He is a first-round talent and one of the top receivers going into the 20201 NFL Draft class.
In a Sports Illustrated Article, Rob Rang ranked Bateman the second-best receiver in the 2021 draft class.
The last time the University of Minnesota had a player picked in the first round was 2006, when the Patriots selected Laurence Maroney.
Bateman put up terrific numbers in his sophomore year, which earned him first-team All-Big Ten and the Richter–Howard Receiver of the Year award. Bateman caught 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In an interview on First Take, Bateman said that the reason he chose to opt-out was “For me and my family, the only concern that we had was health. I have asthma, so just talking to my family, we felt like it was the best decision for me. I didn’t wanna put anybody else in my family or peers at risk of getting this.” He also added that it was “the hardest decision he ever made.”
If the pandemic carries into 2021, Bateman won’t make an NFL appearance either. “I would definitely sit that out too. I feel like my health comes first, I feel like everybody’s health comes first in our lives“, said Bateman.
Rashod Bateman looks to train while socially distancing and keeping his family safe. It will be interesting to see what effect his actions have. More prospects could opt out, and college football could not happen altogether.
As of now, multiple major NCAA conferences have pulled out of fall athletics. Both the Big-10 and the Pac-12 have called for the postponement of their season.