Jeremy Larkin, Northwestern’s starting running back, has retired from football.
The program announced Monday that Larkin was recently diagnosed with cervical stenosis, a condition “in which your spinal canal starts to narrow.” The diagnosis is not life threatening, Northwestern said, but “prevents continued participation in football.”
“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”, Larkin said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Added Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald:
“This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete. But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him. The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can’t wait to see the impact he makes in our world.”
Larkin is Northwestern’s top running back
Larkin, a sophomore, totaled 346 yards and five touchdowns through three weeks for the Wildcats. He is in his first year as the team’s top running back. He was the backup to Justin Jackson, the program’s all-time leading rusher, in 2017. He rushed for 503 yards and five scores.
So far this season, Larkin has 72 of the team’s 110 rushing attempts. Junior John Moten IV is second in carries with just 12 for just 21 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats are off to a 1-2 start this season and are coming off a bye. They opened the season with a 31-27 win over Purdue before dropping back-to-back games to Duke and Akron at home. On Saturday, they host No. 14 Michigan at Ryan Field.
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