NCAA Football: Opt-in or out?

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

Players from big conferences look to catch attention of NFL Scouts despite the pandemic. Photo retrieved from Twitter.com

With such a unique situation on hand, we have seen numerous changes in what is happening in both college football and the college fanbase. Just like professional teams, most college stadiums are not allowing fans into games to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Certain schools such as Alabama and Louisiana State University are allowing fans in the stadium at a certain percentage of their full capacity. Most teams who are allowing fans in are no more than 20 percent of capacity. 

Notable schools with a unique set of rules for fans are Appalachian State and Air Force. Appalachian State is only allowing family members of the team into the stadium, and the Air Force is only letting Air Force Cadets into the stadium. Each team who allows fans into the stadium are of course, setting strict rules on both social distancing and mask wearing.

In a ridiculed season, draft prospects continue to shine through the pandemic. The obvious number one draft pick on NFL scouting boards is Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Clemson standout and current quarterback of the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson. Another quarterback who looks to go in the first round is Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Coming off a superb sophomore season, Fields looks to build his status and give scouts good reason to be taken. After transferring from Georgia, according to ESPN, Fields threw 41 touchdown passes and rushed for 10 more with only three interceptions last season. With the Big Twelve just announcing its return, Fields has now been given the chance he started a petition to have a 2020-2021 college football season. 

Another notable top-ten draft pick is wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase from LSU. Chase decided to opt-out of the 2020-2021 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. In his sophomore season, Chase recorded 84 receptions for 20 touchdowns with a whopping 1,780 yards behind number one pick Joe Burrow as his quarterback. Even after announcing this statement prior to the SEC starting, Chase remains the top of his class at the wide receiver position. 

With so much happening especially in shortened college football seasons, it will be interesting to see how many more players will choose to play the season or opt-out and prepare for the upcoming draft. For other players this may be the last time they wear a football jersey prior to starting a different chapter of their lives. 

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