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Rashod Bateman “wants to play” for Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2020

The Gophers might be getting a huge boost to their receiving corps for Big Ten play.

Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Rashod Bateman is tackled by Auburn Tigers defensive back Jeremiah Dinson during the Outback Bowl between the Auburn Tigers and Minnesota Golden Gophers on January 01, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Big news out of Minneapolis today, as potential 2021 first-round NFL Draft selection Rashod Bateman has decided to return to the Minnesota Golden Gophers and play this season. Bateman practiced with the team this morning according to head coach PJ Fleck, and is enrolled in classes this semester.

Bateman was a monster in 2019 with 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. And with Tyler Johnson leaving for the NFL, that’s even more receptions for Bateman in the Gophers offense. Three of his games last season included 147 yards or more, including against elite competition in Wisconsin and Penn State.

The “complex” part of this process is likely because Bateman was preparing for the NFL Draft, and might have signed with an agent or accepted some other form of compensation that might have endangered his amateur status. But c’mon NCAA: Name, Image and Likeness rights are just around the corner by you own admission, and you probably need all the good players you can get with all the game cancelations due to Covid-19 already.

If Bateman wants to play this season, let’s hope they can find a way to get him on the field.