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First-round prospect Rashod Bateman opts out of 2020 college football season

Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, an All-Big Ten performer who is considered a likely first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, has decided to end his college football career.

Bateman released a video today saying that he has decided not to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic and instead will get himself ready to play professionally next year.

“I am now making the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life,” Bateman said. “In light of the uncertainty around health and safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to set my wishes aside for the wellness of my family, community and beyond. Because of this I will opt out of the 2020 college football season and I will be taking the next step in my journey by declaring for the 2021 NFL draft.”

Bateman caught 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He joins Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley as the second high-profile college football player to announce he’s skipping the 2020 season. He surely won’t be the last.


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