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COVID-19, family matters played into Lamonte McDougle’s decision to opt out at Washington State

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 29, 2020

Washington State defensive lineman Lamonte McDougle (9) stands on the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.   (Associated Press)
Washington State defensive lineman Lamonte McDougle (9) stands on the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.  (Associated Press)

Earlier this week, Lamonte McDougle indicated on social media he wouldn’t play for Washington State this season, writing in an Instagram comment, “I’ll be back in 2021.”

McDougle confirmed to The Spokesman-Review on Twitter Thursday he has opted out of the current season. While his Instagram comment indicated he plans to play college football in 2021, it’s unclear if that’ll happen at WSU or in the Pac-12. McDougle told The S-R he plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

Earlier this month, the defensive lineman contracted COVID-19, which would’ve kept him out of team activities and isolated for an unspecified period of time had he chosen to play.

The Cougars opened preseason camp in Pullman on Oct. 9. Both of McDougle’s parents had previously come down with the virus, the player told KREM-2 News in early August, and his mother was placed in an intensive care unit.

McDougle, from Pompano Beach, Florida, told The S-R his father, Stockar, recently underwent heart surgery, and that also factored into his decision to opt out. McDougle didn’t specify if his father’s procedure was related to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Stockar spent eight years in the NFL and was an offensive lineman at Oklahoma in 1999 when ex-WSU coach Mike Leach was the Sooners’ offensive coordinator. Leach’s relationship with Stockar was integral in Lamonte’s decision to transfer to WSU, and play in the Pac-12, after a productive freshman season at West Virginia, where he was an ESPN Freshman All-American.

After sitting out 2018 due to transfer rules, McDougle played in all 13 games for the Cougars as a redshirt sophomore and made one start at nose tackle. He totaled 14 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, with one fumble recovery and a blocked field goal in 2019.

In what may end up being his final game at WSU, McDougle had a season-high five tackles in the Cheez-It Bowl, making his lone start in a loss to Air Force.

As a freshman in the Big-12, McDougle made 13 appearances, recording 23 tackles with two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

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