Lamonte McDougle, who was expected to play a big role on the interior of Washington State’s defensive line this season, has indicated he won’t suit up for the Cougars in 2020.
Tuesday, the redshirt junior nose tackle posted a highlight video from his Instagram account with a caption reading, “#2021. you only as gangster as your accomplishments as a man so when I say I’m going “gangster” that mean I’m working on some.”
McDougle also alluded to returning to the field next season in an Instagram comment, writing “I’ll be back in 2021 to give you the summary.”
Reporters haven’t been able to view the team’s preseason practices due to health and safety protocols, but McDougle hadn’t appeared in any of the photographs or video WSU’s media relations department has sent over the past three weeks.
The former West Virginia defensive lineman and ESPN Freshman All-American didn’t indicate specifically if he’s opted out of the fall season or if his absence was injury-related.
WSU coach Nick Rolovich said multiple players had chosen to opt out of the 2020 season but has declined to name them specifically.
McDougle told KREM2 in August both of his parents had come down with COVID-19 and expressed concerns about playing in a national pandemic, unless the NCAA was willing to adopt strict health procedures to guarantee student-athlete safety.
“Both my parents have had COVID-19,” McDougle told KREM2. “My mother FaceTimed me from the ICU and told me she felt like she was about to die. There are NFL players who are making millions of dollars and are opting out this season, but we’re being punished for doing the same thing. The only difference is we don’t have million dollar salaries. Some of the guys I know in the Pac-12 haven’t been tested one time. Until the NCAA has put some health regulations in place that make sense to protect us, I’m not going to sacrifice my health to make them billions.”
At that point, the Pac-12 wasn’t planning on a football season due to COVID-19, but the conference outlined a plan once it struck a partnership with Quidel Corporation and rapid antigen testing machines became available.
McDougle and a few of his WSU teammates shared the Pac-12’s player-driven #WeAreUnited movement graphic but wrote in a separate tweet, “I agree with everything this movement is fighting especially the health concerns but not playing this season isn’t an option for me I got ppl that need to eat. so if the NCAA wants to use me as a lab rat it is what it is.”
McDougle played in all 13 games for the Cougars last season, starting once. He recorded 14 total tackles with 2.5 for loss, recovering one fumble and blocking one field goal. The 6-foot, 291-pound lineman has been on campus since spring of 2018 but sat out that fall due to NCAA transfer rules.
Though McDougle would’ve been one of just two returning interior defensive linemen who saw significant field time last season, along with Dallas Hobbs, first-year WSU defensive coordinator Jake Dickert told reporters on Saturday the Cougars had good depth at the nose tackle and defensive tackle spots, and still had up to 10 players contending for those positions.
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