Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman wants to continue playing in 2020 after opting out of the season in August due to COVID-19 concerns, head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement Friday.
"Rashod and I have had many positive conversations since the Big Ten announced it was going to compete in football this fall," Fleck wrote.
"Rashod initially opted out because of personal health concerns surrounding COVID-19, but now feels comfortable rejoining the team after the Big Ten announced the safety measures it was taking to protect student-athletes, which includes daily antigen testing. Rashod is enrolled in school and has been granted a waiver to practice with the team."
The projected first-round NFL draft pick signed with an agent after opting out of the season in August, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, which the NCAA doesn't allow for student-athletes.
"The process for him to be granted a waiver to compete this fall is a bit more complex, but our compliance office is working closely with the NCAA and Big Ten to come to a resolution," Fleck said. "It is our hope that Rashod will be able to represent Minnesota as a student-athlete this fall."
Bateman's decision to stay with the Golden Gophers for his junior season follows the Big Ten's announcement that it will begin a delayed fall football season on the weekend of Oct. 24.
The wideout racked up 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He earned one first-team All-Big Ten berth and was named the conference's receiver of the year in 2019.
Multiple Big Ten players have recently changed course after previously declaring for the draft amid the pandemic. Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade and guard Wyatt Davis have opted back in the program this week, while Penn State star linebacker Micah Parsons has been "thinking about it," according to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.