John Urschel, the brilliant mathematician and Ravens offensive lineman who surprisingly announced his retirement today, says people shouldn’t read too much into his decision.
Although many people interpreted Urschel’s retirement at age 26 as a sign that he fears brain damage on the field, Urschel released a statement saying he still loves football.
“Thank you to everyone for the kind words today,” Urschel wrote. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe it was the right one for me. There’s no big story here, and I’d appreciate the right to privacy. I’m extremely grateful to the Ravens, and blessed to have been able to play the game I love at the highest level. It is a great game. There are some games — like the playoff game at Pittsburgh — that I will never forget.”
Urschel said he simply has other priorities right now, namely higher education and starting a family.
“I’m excited to start working on my doctorate in mathematics full time at MIT,” Urschel said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to take courses that are only offered in the fall semester, while spending time with my fiancee and preparing myself for the new challenges that will come with fatherhood. We’re expecting our first child in December.”
The Ravens will miss Urschel on the field, but everyone who admires his intelligence and thoughtfulness will wish him well as he explores his other interests.