John Urschel says he still loves football, “no big story here”

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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.

26 responses to “John Urschel says he still loves football, “no big story here”

  1. The dude got accepted to MIT and coupled with some seed money earned from playing in the NFL for a few years, he’s set for life. He’s an example for people from all walks of life on how to make the most of what gifts you have and opportunities to capitalize on them, not just for NFL players. A tip of the cap to you, sir!

  2. Yeah well most guys that play football aren’t brilliant mathematicians. Lot’s of guys who played football lived long and healthy lives. There are much more dangerous jobs people do everyday all year and they make less per year what these guys make in one game.

  3. He is one of the few, if any, NFL players who could probably have a conversation with Neil Tyson Degrasse and hold his own. Good luck to you.

  4. Hats off to John Urschel, well done.

    A doctorate in mathematics from MIT is one heck of an achievement by any standard. Wishing him success in that endeavor.

  5. Doesn’t take genius to understand his decision. Hope he has some relationship with the NFL going forward for the sake off all.

  6. This guy is smart enough that he wouldn’t drop out of football based solely on the very incomplete research that has been done on CTE thus far.

    What we know about CTE:

    -Almost every NFL player they’ve checked has had it, and some of those players played no more than a season or two in the professional ranks.
    -The only players they’ve checked are those who were donated to them, and the only players whose families have donated their brains are those who explicitly displayed symptoms of CTE.
    -CTE has been found in 48 of 53 donated brains from college players

    We can pretty much deduce a worst-case scenario out of all this that if you’re going to get CTE at all, it’s highly likely you got it in college. For all we know, anybody deciding to opt out of multimillion-dollar NFL contracts over CTE may actually be doing harm in the long-run by reducing the resources (money) they will have available in retirement to manage their potential CTE symptoms.

    Just my two cents. I can’t fault people for leaving the game due to CTE concerns, but realistically I believe they will ultimately get better treatment and have a better chance of long-term success if they continue playing and collecting huge paychecks.

  7. With the Trump Administration limiting access to education by minorities more every day, it is important for him to get educated now before minorities are even more systematically denied access to the nation’s campuses.

  8. whatjusthapped says:
    Jul 27, 2017 4:17 PM
    The only shock is that he played for the same franchise that paid Ray Lewis. Couldn’t be wider apart in character than those two.

    11 5
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    Seriously? You bring Ray Lewis into this. He’s been gone for four years and will be in hall of fame next year. Choke on that.
    Between you, illogicalvoice, and tylawsdick your hatred for the Ravens is stale.

    This is about Urschel, a super intelligent dude. You can’t even spell “happened” correctly.

  9. Hats off to Urschel. He has his priorities in order and is doing what is best for him and his family.
    It’s very refreshing and I wish him all the best.

  10. Good luck John! You always played tough and maybe you wouldn’t be retiring if you were consistently in the starting lineup last year as you should have been.

  11. I follow Urschel on twitter and he seems to be more interested in theory than applied maths.

    If I’m wrong then I’ll point out between Urschel and Andrew Hawkins you’ve got the potential makings of a blindingly smart front-office.

  12. At 26, this guy understands that all the money in the world is useless if your brain is so scrambled that you can’t think your way out of a wet paper bag. He is choosing family, pursuit of his passion and overall quality of life over short term satisfaction. Incredible respect for this kid.

  13. He owes nobody nothing. He’s a year older than me and has money in the bank, and is going to a pretty prestigious school. Just being accepted into MIT shows how smart he is, but a MIT degree in mathematics and he can teach anywhere (that doesn’t call him over qualified because they’re afraid of actually paying a real salary for a quality teacher, aka some innercity school boards), that’s a life long career. And he can always come back to football too as he’s only 26.

    So yeah, get that education!

  14. respect the heck outta this decision, wish him the best…however, to all the geniuses saying how he is ‘set for life’ after playing a few years in the NFL, that is just not at all true…he earned $1.8 million total in his three years, and that is before taxes…nowadays people can BARELY retire with $1 million at age 65…he is FAR from set for life, just saying

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