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Gregory Rousseau: Miami pass rusher and top NFL Draft prospect opts out

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore have both also opted out

Gregory Rousseau is likely to be a high first-round pick in 2021
Image: Gregory Rousseau is likely to be a high first-round pick in 2021

Miami pass rusher and projected first-round pick Gregory Rousseau has opted out of the 2020 college football season in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rousseau produced 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2019 to earn first-team All-ACC honours and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He informed Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz he would not feature in the upcoming campaign, and will now turn his attention towards next year's Draft.

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NFL Network's Omar Ruiz says players are largely comfortable with the league's health and safety measures ahead of the new season

"Just actually, while we were speaking, Greg Rousseau let me know he is not going to play football this fall. He is opting out, very similar to what you've seen in college football," Diaz told reporters on Thursday.

"We want to thank him for everything he's done for the Miami Hurricanes and we're going to support him every way that we can, with him looking to achieve his dreams of becoming a great player in the National Football League."

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, another likely first-round pick, also announced he is opting out of the 2020 season in view of entering the Draft.

Parsons recorded a team-high 109 tackles as a sophomore last year, as well as adding 14 tackles for loss and five sacks.

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"As I consider all my options for the 2020 season, I decided I needed to make a choice not for myself, but for my son and those nearest to me," Parsons said on Instagram.

"While I felt safe with the safety standards to return to Penn State for workouts, the potential risk to the health and well-being of my son far outweighed my urge to play football this season."

Purdue's electric wide receiver Rondale Moore joined the list of those opting out, announcing his decision with a statement on Twitter.

"Given the unprecedented circumstances we are currently living in, the best choice for my family and I is to opt out of the upcoming season and prepare for the 2021 NFL draft," he wrote.

"This is a bittersweet decision because I always assumed I had more great moments at Ross-Ade Stadium ahead of me, and I will greatly miss the entire community. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude #Boiler4Life."

Moore was restricted to just four games in 2019 due to injury, following on from an outstanding freshman year in which he made 113 catches for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The 20-year-old also rushed for 212 yards and two scores and registered 744 yards on kickoff and punt returns as he became a consensus first-team All-American and collected the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.

His efforts meanwhile saw him become the first true freshman consensus All-American in Big Ten history.

Rousseau, Parsons and Moore follow on from Virginia cornerback Caleb Farley and Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman as the latest high-profile players to opt out.

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