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Gophers’ Rashod Bateman decides to opt out for remainder of season

Iowa Minnesota Football
Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. Iowa won 35-7. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Rashod Bateman brought an end to his time with the Gophers on Wednesday, announcing on Twitter he has decided to opt out for the remainder of the season. The junior wide receiver will enter the NFL draft in April.

The decision comes a day after the Gophers’ game Saturday in Wisconsin was canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak among Minnesota players. The Gophers (2-3) potentially have three games remaining in the regular season.

Bateman, projected by many as a first-round pick in the draft, caught 60 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Bateman decided to opt-out for the season this summer when there was uncertainty about when the Big Ten would even play football because of the pandemic. Bateman later changed his mind and decided to return when it became clear there would be a shortened fall season. The NCAA granted his request to come back.

The Gophers were coming off an 11-2 finish in 2019, but this year has been a disappointment. Bateman will finish the season with 36 receptions for 472 yards and two touchdowns in five games.