Rashod Bateman will play this season for the Gophers after all.
The outstanding wide receiver who initially opted-out because of concerns surrounding COVID-19 before changing his mind, had his eligibility restored by the NCAA. Bateman has 111 receptions for 1,923 yards and 17 touchdowns in 26 games over two seasons with the Gophers. His reception total is tied for 12th in school history, his yardage total is tied for eighth and his touchdown total is tied for fifth.
Bateman was named third-team All-American last season, All-Big Ten first team and was the Big Ten receiver of the year as a sophomore. He also was one of 12 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award after catching 60 passes for 1,219 yards (second most in a single season) and 11 touchdowns (tied for second most in a single season). Bateman had been projected as a first-round pick in the NFL draft.
Bateman will wear No. 0 this season, becoming the first Gopher ever to do so. He is switching from No. 13 to No. 0 because, “there is zero tolerance for racism in Minnesota’s culture and it is a call to action to end racism in our society.”
The Gophers will open their pandemic-shortened Big Ten season on Oct. 24 against Michigan at TCF Bank Stadium.
Agent 0 checking in. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, Let’s ROW ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VCdHSMKCR
— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) September 30, 2020