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Owls safety Quran Hafiz opts out of 2020 season

FAU player first on team to opt out, says he'll return in 2021
FAU Owls safety Quran Hafiz tackles UCF Knights Bentavious Thompson in 2019
Posted at 7:15 PM, Aug 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-08 19:17:27-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The secondary for Florida Atlantic just got thinner.

FAU safety Quran Hafiz announced Saturday on Twitter that he is opting out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hafiz becomes the first FAU player to opt out the season.

"I believe it is in my best interest to do this to avoid contracting the virus and, even worse, pass it on to my family," Hafiz tweeted.

Hafiz went on to say that it was a "hard decision with the passion and love I have for the game, my teammates and FAU."

"This will be a (sic) even harder year being without football, but decisions like this come with being a man and I realize that I'm not making decisions just for myself anymore. I have to make decisions that aren't just in my best interest, but also for my son and my family. Florida Atlantic coaches and strength coaches have been doing a great job with taking the proper protocols to prevent an outbreak, but when we start traveling and going on flights to different states is what worries me."

Hafiz said he plans to redshirt this season and return in 2021.

The 6-foot, 195-pound safety from Jacksonville has played in 39 games for the Owls the past three seasons, recording 91 tackles (52 solo) and two sacks in his college career.

FAU's secondary already lost cornerbacks Meiko Dotson, who transferred to Florida State, and James Pierre, who entered the NFL draft. Dotson's nine interceptions last season were tied for the national lead.

The Owls must also find a new starting quarterback after losing Chris Robison, who is no longer on the team roster. New head coach Willie Taggart declined to comment on Robison's departure.