Penn State running back Journey Brown is having to medically retire from football after he was discovered to have a prohibitive issue with his heart.
According to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com, Penn State head coach James Franklin announced that Brown had been diagnosed with the heart ailment during COVID-19 screenings earlier this fall. When the Big Ten restarted its football activities in October, Penn State announced at the time that Brown was being held out due to a discovered medical issue.
“It was discovered through a routine COVID-19 test, although it is not COVID-related,” Franklin said. “We learned about this in early September, and we’ve been working through this and dealing with this as a team. Journey is one of the most popular and respected players on our team.
“The entire organization has rallied behind Journey and his family.”
Brown wrote about the decision in a posting on his Twitter page, saying he had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
“I finally had the opportunity to showcase what I was born to do and, hopefully, set myself up to achieve my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL,” Brown wrote. “Unfortunately, the dream will never be realized as I have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which will force me to medically retire from the game of football. The pain of not being able to play the game I love anymore hurts and I can’t explain how I am feeling right now.”
Per the Mayo Clinic, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy refers to the thickening of the heart walls.
Brown racked up a total of 1,024 yards from scrimmage with 13 total touchdowns last season for Penn State and was highly regarded as a prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft.