Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel is officially hanging up the helmet.
The team released a statement Thursday morning saying that the 26-year-old fifth-round pick let all of his coaches know.
“This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” coach John Harbaugh said, via the team’s official site. “We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
The decision was first reported by Adam Schefter on Twitter. It’s been a growing trend in the NFL over the last few years.
The move had to be a difficult one for Urschel, who wrote in The Player’s Tribune last year about his lifelong tug of war between football and mathematics. The burden of doctorate-level classes at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities had to be intense, never mind the fact that he was competing for a starting job in 2017.
Urschel will now pursue a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to him, that’s his passion:
“… [I]f I’m thinking about math on the football field, this is going to get me killed. So that’s just survival instinct. And when I’m doing math, it’s all encompassing and I’m 100 percent in it, and there’s really nothing else to think about when I’m doing math.”
What do you think of this trend? Will you miss Urschel on the team?