West Virginia starting safety Kerry Martin Jr. has opted out of the 2020 college football season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Martin was a key contributor for the Mountaineers as a true freshman in 2019. He played in 12 games and started four while finishing with 50 tackles and five passes defensed.
Martin was expected to be a full-time starter for West Virginia this year. However, for health reasons amid COVID-19, he won’t be playing in 2020.
“My family and myself have had many conversations about playing this upcoming fall 2020 season,” Martin wrote on Twitter this morning. “With that being said, we feel as if it’s best to opt out and sit this season out due to my family and my own personal health issues (sickle cell, asthma).”
Martin did say he intends to return to the field for the Mountaineers in 2021.
Mountaineer forever 💙 pic.twitter.com/bTVNy6b3lz
— Kerry “KJ” Martin Jr.🌹 (@KMartinJr11) August 5, 2020
This offseason, Martin was the driving force behind West Virginia replacing defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. In June, Martin accused Koenning of racism and mistreatment of his players, including having a “slave master” mentality and making inappropriate remarks.
Koenning was put on administrative leave following Martin’s allegations, and the program eventually parted ways with him in July.
As for this upcoming season, Martin isn’t the first Power 5 player to opt out due to coronavirus. He certainly won’t be the last either.