Rutgers sophomore defensive back Peyton Powell has entered the NCAA transfer portal in response to the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to a Twitter post.
Powell, who did not play any games for the Scarlet Knights last season, was not a part of their roster at the beginning of training camp, head coach Greg Schiano told Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com. When asked about Powell’s status on Monday, Schiano reportedly said that nothing had changed.
After posing about his decision, Powell’s Twitter account received significant traction, with over 2,200 people quote-tweeting his announcement as of Wednesday morning. He limited replies on that post to people he follows or mentioned and added a response tweet shortly after.
Powell, who was ranked as the No. 14 athlete prospect nationally and No. 33 recruit in Texas by the 247Sports Composite in the 2019 class, signed with Baylor in December of 2018 but left the program before the start of the 2019 season. He then committed to Utah in November of 2019 before flipping to Rutgers in December.
Powell is not the first college football player to enter the transfer portal in regard to a vaccine mandate. Former Arizona State punter Michael Turk, a preseason second-team All-American by 247Sports, transferred to Oklahoma after the Sun Devils administered a policy that any athlete or individual who had not received the vaccine would not be allowed to travel to road games.
Boston College, which had its entire football team and staff vaccinated for COVID-19 by July according to head coach Jeff Hafley, reportedly helped an unnamed player find a new university in the transfer portal after he chose not to be vaccinated.
Rutgers announced on March 25 that it would require students enrolled in the fall semester to be fully vaccinated. On Monday, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, making it likely that other mandates will follow.
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