MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Golden Gophers star wide receiver Rashod Bateman has announced he will opt out 2020 college season and will now be preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.

On Tuesday morning, the standout athlete posted a video titled “Wishing well” to Twitter making the announcement. He says the decision was prompted by health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have to set my wishes aside for the wellness of my family, community and beyond,” he said.

Bateman says the next steps of his journey will be declaring for the NFL Draft.

“Minnesota will forever be a place I am lucky enough to call home,” he said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all.”

Coach PJ Fleck reacted to the news, saying the team will miss him, but that the program will always support players who make a “decision that he feels is best for him and his family.”

Bateman, who stood out in the Big Ten last season, could be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, according to multiple reports.

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