Could Minnesota be getting one of the best receivers in the country back for the rescheduled 2020 season?
A source tells Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel that WR Rashod Bateman is looking to play for the Gophers when the season begins in October. Bateman had opted out of the season a week before the Big Ten officially announced that it would be postponing football to the spring of 2021.
Wednesday, the conference said that the season would start on Oct. 24.
Source: Minnesota star WR Rashod Bateman wants to play for Gophers in 2020. He’s back on campus and enrolled as a full-time student. He’s signed with agent and finds himself in the same scenario as other high-profile players around the country.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 18, 2020
Bateman and other stars wanting to return will need clearance from the NCAA for the unique circumstances of this time. Bateman opted out in early August amid the lack of clarity of the season and uncertain health environment.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 18, 2020
Bateman was one of the best wide receivers in college football in 2019. He had 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns as he formed one of the best receiving duos in the country with Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Tyler Johnson. Their exceptional performances helped Minnesota to an 11-2 record in 2019 and an Outback Bowl win over Auburn.
Bateman is also the third Big Ten star to want back into the season in as many days. Wednesday and Thursday, Ohio State OL Wyatt Davis and Buckeyes DB Shaun Wade said they wanted to return and play college football in 2020. Both players had opted out before the Big Ten said it would play this fall.
Since Bateman had signed with an agent, his ability to play in 2020 isn’t a total lock. But it seems that the NCAA will offer some sort of relief for players who had signed with agents to prep for the 2021 NFL draft when their seasons were in doubt.
Bateman may not be the last Big Ten star to opt back into the season. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren, Penn State LB Micah Parsons is weighing his options regarding a potential opt-in to the 2020 seasons. Like Bateman, Parsons opted out of the season to prep for the NFL draft before the Big Ten officially postponed.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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