Former Gophers' receiver Rashod Bateman was one of 23 players who earned preseason All-America honors from the Associated Press despite not actually playing in the fall.
Bateman opted out of what would have been his junior season in early August before the Big Ten ultimately called off fall competition a week later. The reigning Big Ten Receiver of the Year planned to focus on the 2021 NFL Draft, where he is a projected first-round pick, possible going in the top 10.
The Georgia native was a third-team AP All-America selection last season, amassing 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns on 60 catches. He made the second team in this preseason vote from the media.
While some honorees are still in play for this fall, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, others have either opted out like Bateman or will have to wait until a potential delayed season in the spring. Some of those other names are Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Purdue receiver Rondale Moore.
Read the full list here.
The Gophers also came in at No. 19 in the AP's Top 25 poll, despite not playing in 2020.