After opting out Aug. 4, Rashod Bateman now reportedly wants to play for Minnesota in 2020. After the Big Ten’s decision Wednesday to reinstate the conference’s fall college football season, the junior wide receiver is back on Minnesota’s campus and enrolled as a full-time student for the fall semester.
Bateman faces the same dilemma many college football stars face, he has signed with an agent and needs clearance from the NCAA to return.
Bateman became the second potential first-round pick to opt out of a fall season and instead prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley was the first.
Bateman did not like the idea of a spring campaign for the Big Ten, a potential scenario after the conference’s original postponement Aug. 11.
“I definitely think that’s not OK,” Bateman said Aug. 25 on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “We can already see all of the injuries that go on through a regular season, let alone playing football twice in one calendar year and the wear and tear that football does on your body, I just think that’s definitely not smart. That’s not keeping the players safe.”
One of the Big Ten’s top playmakers as a sophomore in 2019, Bateman caught 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder built upon his 13-game freshman season in 2018 when he recorded 51 receptions for 704 yards (13.8 average) and six touchdowns through 13 games.
Bateman was a four-star recruit out of Tifton County, GA.