Wake Forest Demon Deacons receiver Sage Surratt
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Sage Surratt is opting out of the 2020 college football season, becoming the latest star to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surratt, who emerged as one of the best receivers in the ACC in 2019, will forego his junior season and begin preparing for next year’s NFL Draft. The decision comes just over a week after the ACC announced it still plans to play football this fall.

Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt becomes latest CFB star to opt-out, declare for NFL Draft

Entering the 2019 season, Surratt was coming off a freshman campaign that saw him show flashes of greatness. The 6-foot-3 receiver quickly developed chemistry with quarterback Jamie Newman and enjoyed a breakout season.

Surratt’s stats were incredible last year, especially in a program that hasn’t always been known for gaudy numbers. As a sophomore, he racked up 1,001 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 15.2 yards per catch.

Even after Newman transferred to Georgia, Surratt remained committed to the Demon Deacons. However, with the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the junior announced Wednesday that he will opt-out of playing this fall and is declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s been expected that many college football stars would opt-out of the upcoming season to begin preparing for the NFL. The exodus has been glaring at wide receiver, where Minnesota Golden Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman and Purdue Boilermakers star Rondale Moore have declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.

We’ve also seen several defensive phenoms announce their declarations in recent weeks. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Miami Hurricanes edge rusher Gregory Rousseau all opted out to begin training for the NFL Combine. All three are considered to be among the top defensive prospects in next year’s draft class.

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Sage Surratt’s NFL Draft outlook

Surratt, a former three-star recruit, has already blown past any expectations others set for him when he arrived in college football. As he now prepares to transition to the highest level, there’s a lot of reason to believe he’ll have a bright future in the NFL.

Teams are looking for that big receiver who can make contested catches and knows how to use his size against smaller defenders. Standing at 6-foot-3, there aren’t even many NFL cornerbacks who can match Surratt’s size.

He earned first-team All-ACC honors this season and was named a semifinalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. Keep in mind, he accomplished all of this despite playing in only nine games. Before the pandemic hit, Surratt had the choice of returning to school or declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Ultimately, he decided to return to Wake Forst. Unfortunately, the risks of the college football season being canceled and the chance it could hurt his draft stock led to this moment. Fortunately, he’ll be healthy when he arrives for the NFL Combine and it could just be the start of a promising future in the league.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick