Nearly two months after declaring for the NFL Draft, Rashod BAteman is officially back on the Gopher football roster and preparing to play the upcoming season. The NCAA granted him a waiver to play after the Big Ten reversed its decision to postpone the fall football season.
"These past few months have been uncertain and challenging. Challenging for myself, this university and our society," Bateman said in a video. "The Row The Boat culture has changed my life forever. I know that to get through tough times you have to keep your oar in the water, and I feel that the safest and the best place to move forward is here at the University of Minnesota."
Bateman, who finished last season with 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns en route to being named the Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year, originally opted out of the 2020 season on August 4.
At the time, he cited health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic and went as far as to hire an agent for the 2021 NFL Draft. A week after he opted out, the Big Ten postponed the football season and all fall sports, only to reverse that decision earlier this month.
The Gophers are now set to play an eight-game game beginning Saturday, October 24 against Michigan.
Bateman is changing his number from 13 to 0, explaining that he made the switch "because there is zero tolerance for racism in this culture and there is no doubt about what this program stand for."