Several Notre Dame football players express desire to play this season

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

With the college football season reportedly on the brink of being canceled or postponed this fall, several Notre Dame players took to Twitter late Sunday night to share their desire to play in 2020.

At least nine Irish players tweeted #WeWantToPlay: defensive end Daelin Hayes, quarterback Ian Book, running back Jafar Armstrong, safeties Houston Griffith and Isaiah Pryor, wide receiver Ben Skowronek, cornerback Nick McCloud, offensive lineman Hunter Spears and walk-on long snapper Michael Vinson.

It's unclear if the Notre Dame players tweeting the #WeWantToPlay hashtag are supporting a larger movement created by college football players across Power Five conferences to establish protocols for the season and eventually form a union.

On Monday morning, Book shared an image to his Instagram story that listed the platform connected to the #WeWantToPlay hashtag.

• We all want to play football this season.

• Establish universal mandated health & safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

• Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.

• Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

• Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association.

That image also included the #WeAreUnited hashtag, which players in the Pac-12 were using to threaten mass opt-outs if demands over COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for athletes were not addressed.

Washington State defensive lineman Dallas Hobbs created the graphic after players from multiple conferences, including Lawrence, met on a Zoom call to coordinate a message.

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds, who is leading a players' right movement in the Big Ten (#BigTenUnited), reached out to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Darien Rencher on Sunday evening to create a more unified message, according to a report from Ralph Russo of the Associated Press.

Lawrence, arguably the highest profile player in college football, was vocal on Twitter throughout the weekend that his team wanted to play. Some of college football biggest stars, including Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard and Alabama running back Najee Harris, joined Lawrence in sharing the #WeWantToPlay and #WeAreUnited graphic on social media.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book tweeted #WeWantToPlay on Sunday night as college football players across the country expressed their desire to play a college football season left in doubt amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Screenshot from Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book's Instagram story on Monday, August 10.