Northwestern RB Jeremy Larkin retires after cervical stenosis diagnosis

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin began his sophomore season with the Wildcats as their starting running back. It led to him putting up 143 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening win over Purdue.

Unfortunately for Larkin, his playing career has now come to an end. The studly running back announced his retirement from football on Monday after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

A form of spinal stenosis, this condition leads to a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area or the upper part of the spine. It ultimately puts more pressure on the spinal cord.

Needless to say, Larkin made the right decision here. There’s absolutely no reason to risk long-term paralysis.

“Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won’t be on that field again, given I’ve played this game since I was five years old” said Larkin. “I’m extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first, Larkin said in a statement, via the team’s official website. “I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline.”

A three-star recruit from Cincinnati, Larkin took over Northwestern’s starting running back duties from Just Jackson this season. In three games, he had put up 473 total yards and five touchdowns. Larkin gained 618 total yards and averaged six yards per attempt as a freshman last season.