NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Rutgers defensive back Peyton Powell will continue his college football career at another school.
Powell tweeted Tuesday that he would be entering the transfer portal because Rutgers requires students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
"The University of Rutgers has made the COVID vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football, therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal," Powell tweeted.
Vaccine mandates have played a crucial role in mankind’s efforts to eradicate avoidable diseases for more than a century. Schools have historically been a major contributor to that effort.
Rutgers, the largest college in New Jersey, has a long-standing list of vaccines students are required to receive prior to enrollment. The COVID-19 vaccine is just the latest to join addition to that list.
The university’s updated vaccine policy is new for the fall semester, but news that it would be a requirement came out five months ago.
"We are committed to health and safety for all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccination to our student immunization requirements will help provide a safer and more robust college experience for our students," Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a March 25 press release.
A detailed view of a Rutgers Scarlet Knights helmet ahead of a regular-season game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at SHI Stadium on Dec. 18, 2020, in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Powell has been removed from the school’s football roster on the Scarlet Knights’ website.
According to FOX News, Powell is a former four-star recruit from Midland, Texas. He verbally committed to play for the Utah Utes before enrolling at Baylor January 2019. After a few months, he transferred to Rutgers.
Powell came out of high school as a quarterback, but he changed positions to defensive back during the 2020 season — in which he did not see the field.
This story was reported from Atlanta.