“Hearing we can expect NCAA opt outs to begin any day now,” Bleacher Report NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller tweeted at 2:09 p.m. ET on Wednesday. One hour and 54 minutes later, they began.
“Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, a projected first-round pick, is the first college player to opt out of the coming season,” Adam Schefter tweeted at 4:03 p.m. ET. Farley is not the first college player to opt out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns; Illinois senior running back Ra’Von Bonner announced his opt-out on Tuesday, telling the Chicago Tribune the “risks are greater than the reward. Still, Farley’s opt-out is a massive decision and the first in a “significant” wave for 2021 NFL Draft prospects.
“And there could be a significant number of them as players look to the 2021 Draft instead of the uncertainty of the NCAA season,” read the second half of Miller’s tweet. Farley, a three-star recruit and the nation’s 27th-ranked athlete in the 2017 class, planned to play receiver at Virginia Tech but switched to cornerback after missing the 2017 season with an injury. After 20 tackles and four interceptions earned him an All-ACC selection as a redshirt sophomore in 2019, the 6-foot-2, 217-pounder considering entering the 2020 draft but opted to return, putting him in contention for CB1 in the 2021 class.
Miller didn’t elaborate on “significant,” nor did he give an expected timetable for opt-out announcements, though we can assume those opting out will likely do so in the coming days after teams entering training camp.Listen to “Would You Rather Have Conference-Only Fall Season OR Full Spring Season?” on Spreaker.