The 2020 college football season remains uncertain, but some FBS players are not taking any chances with their future.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to fuel players’ concerns — and those were brought to light by a group of Pac-12 players on Sunday who threatened to opt out this season if their needs are not met.
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Some other players have already taken that step. Sporting News will track the notable opt outs for 2020 throughout August and September.
Ra’Von Bonner, RB, Illinois
(July 27): Bonner, a junior, and teammate Jake Cerny became the first two FBS players to opt out for the 2020 season. Bonner played in 12 games for Illinois last season and has 822 rushing yards and 10 TDs for his career. Cerny, an offensive lineman, played in 12 games last season — mostly on special teams.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
(July 29): Farley, a second-team SN preseason All-American, opted out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Farley totaled 56 tackles and six interceptions the past two seasons with the Hokies and is considered one of the best defensive backs in the FBS.
Kassidy Woods, WR, Washington State
(Aug. 2): Woods, who has sickle cell trait, decided not to play in 2020. That’s only part of the story. He alleged that Washington State coach Nick Rolovich took issure with the Pac-12 unity group, according to the Spokesman-Review. That prompted Rolovich to clarify his remarks in a statement on Aug. 3. Woods had six catches for 58 yards for the Cougars last season.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
(Aug. 4): Bateman announced he was opting out of the 2020 season on Twitter:
Bateman is one of the best receivers in the FBS. He was ranked No. 22 on Sporting News Top 40 Players for 2020 list. Bateman averaged 20.3 yards per catch with 11 TDs in 2019. He showed up in big games, with 350 receiving yards and two TDs over two games with Penn State and Wisconsin. That big-game presence will be missed in Minnnesota’s offense.