If the Arizona Wildcats do end up playing a football season this fall, it won’t involve Kevin Doyle.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback announced Saturday that he is opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, penning this statement on Twitter:
“We are in challenging times. I have been watching and reading about the Covid pandemic and I understand that it is new for everybody The only thing I can do is listen to professionals and watch professionals and make decisions off of that information. Dozens of high-profile NFL players are opting out of playing football and giving up tens of millions of dollars, there must be even more risk than I can even perceive. I love the University of Arizona and I support my teammates and coaches. With that being said, yesterday I gave my official notice that I will be opting out of the upcoming football season. I am looking forward to getting past this pandemic and rejoining my teammates as quickly as possible.”
This is a really tough decision. I appreciate the support, understanding and guidance my coaches have shown me over the last few days while we work through this decision. Looking forward to getting back with my teammates as quickly as possible. #BearDown pic.twitter.com/YS3CwRBDUF— Kevin Doyle Jr (@Kevin_Doyle_13) August 1, 2020
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Doyle, a last-minute addition to Kevin Sumlin’s first Arizona recruiting class in 2018, has yet to appear in a game for Arizona in two seasons. A shoulder injury during preseason camp in 2019 limited his development, allowing true freshman Grant Gunnell to move past him on the depth chart and eventually split the starting QB job with Khalil Tate.
Arizona’s QB room now consists of Gunnell, redshirt junior Rhett Rodriguez, true freshman Will Plummer, and walk-ons Luke Ashworth and Cameron Fietz.
Doyle, who cited the number of NFL players choosing not to play this year, is believed to be the first player from a Pac-12 school to opt out of the 2020 season. Others who have include Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, a projected first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, as well as Illinois running back Ra’Von Bonner and New Mexico State defensive lineman Jomaious Williams.
The Pac-12 announced a revised 2020 football schedule on Friday, with Arizona set to open Sept. 26 at home against ASU. The start of mandatory “ramp-up” activities can begin Monday, per the league, with Arizona expected to welcome its last batch of football players (mostly newcomers) that day as well.