Last week, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley became the first high-profile college football player to opt out of the 2020 season to focus on the 2021 NFL Draft amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Now another has made the same decision as Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman announced on Tuesday that he too will opt out of the upcoming season.
Bateman, who is a projected first-round pick much like Farley was the best wide receiver in the Big Ten last season and is part of what expects to be another stacked wide receiver class for the upcoming NFL Draft alongside LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and Ohio State’s Chris Olave.
At 6’2, 210 lbs., Bateman has the size to overmatch defenders and will be a solid red-zone target when he reaches the next level. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network recently compared him to New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas because of their similar size and strength and ability to play inside and outside as a receiver.
Last season, Bateman had 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns and won the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year award for the Big Ten Conference.
It is expected that there will be more opt-outs in the coming days and weeks with the uncertainty surround the pandemic as well as the uncertainty surrounding the college football season this coming fall. College football reporter Dan Wolken told Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan last Friday that there could be up to 50 players that could opt out before the start of the season. So far there has been 48 players in the NFL to do so.