Gophers Taking Optimistic Approach to Possible Bateman Return

Rashod Bateman originally opted out of season before Big Ten returned

MINNEAPOLIS — Once the Big Ten announced football is making its return this fall, there was one call that head coach, PJ Fleck, made and it was to his top receiver from last season in Rashod Bateman.

Bateman set school records  in receiving yards and touchdowns, making him a projected first round pick in this year’s draft. With asthma ,the Big Ten’s top receiver originally opted out with the uncertainty of a fall season.

Bateman has already signed with an agent creating a compliance issue with the NCAA.

Even with those questions and the opener against Michigan a month away, there is optimism that he’s practicing and around teammates daily.

“He is practicing with us right now,” Fleck said. “There is going to be a lot of things we have to do moving forward for him to be cleared and that’s down the road a little bit, but he’s doing everything he can to handle today and that’s all we told him to focus on. Just focus on today and continue to get better. A lot of this is out of your control.”

“He told me right away ‘hey I may be able to come back’ and I thought he was joking at first to be honest with you,” quarterback Tanner Morgan said. “It was just something that we were really excited about because he wanted to do it for the team not for himself but for the guys in the locker room and for Minnesota.”

There is no timetable on when Bateman  can be made eligible.

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