Usually, players don’t get to choose when they retire from the NFL. NFL teams decide when they’re done. But most other players don’t have a fallback plan like John Urschel.
Urschel, who played on the offensive line for three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, called it a career. Urschel went through the Ravens’ offseason program but didn’t report to the start of training camp Wednesday, the team’s site said. Coach John Harbaugh said Urschel informed him Thursday morning he has decided to retire.
Urschel had gained a level of fame for being an expert mathematician while also grinding away in the NFL trenches. He is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and “gets straight A’s” at the acclaimed school according to the Ravens’ website. Go check out his MIT bio and you’ll see he has a gift that goes far beyond football.
From a football standpoint it’s not great news for a Ravens team that has already had a bit of bad news at the start of camp. Urschel was expected to compete for the starting center job, vacated when the team traded Jeremy Zuttah to the San Francisco 49ers. Urschel hasn’t said anything publicly about his retirement decision, but many other players have retired early because of concern for their health. Urschel is just 26 years old.
Urschel got to live a dream of playing in the NFL for a while, and now he gets to move on to perhaps even bigger and better things.
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