Notre Dame senior LB Danny Spond will not play his final season of college football.
Spond, who was expected to start on the outside after recording 38 tackles last season, told his teammates Saturday morning that he was ending his playing career. Spond had battled concussions and severe migraines over the past two seasons, and coach Brian Kelly told the Chicago Tribune that it was a medical issue that sidelined Spond.
A statement from the family is expected this week.
"What was pretty apparent was that it was an emotional decision and it didn't come without a lot of thought," Kelly told the Tribune. "He spent the day speaking to a lot of specialists and his family was here. This was not a decision that came easy. He loves his teammates. But what's most important is he did what's in his best interest for the future. He's got a bright future."
It's unfortunate if Spond's concussion history and headaches is the reason for his retirement from football. But it's the best call for his long term health; Brian Hamilton's description of a Spond walking with a cane is frightening. Spond had 38 tackles last year and started the final 11 games of the season. He'll remain with the team as a student coach and travel with them. Rivals five-star freshman Jaylon Smith and sophomore Ben Councell are expected to take Spond's place on the field.