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Gophers' Rashod Bateman opts out of 2020 season to prepare for NFL

Bateman is projected to be a first-round pick next year.
Rashod Bateman

If there is a college football season this fall, the Minnesota Gophers will have to go without All-Big Ten wide receiver Rashod Bateman. 

Bateman, a rising star who is projected to be a first-round selection in next year's NFL Draft, announced Tuesday that he's opting out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL. 

“Unfortunately, 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,” Bateman said. “Because of this, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 college football season and I will be taking the next steps in my journey by declaring for the 2021 NFL draft.”

Bateman, at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, burst onto the scene as a sophomore last season. He racked up 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Head coach P.J. Fleck issued a statement saying he supports Bateman's decision. 

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This is a developing story. 

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