Northwestern has lost its top rusher due to a neck condition.
Northwestern sophomore running back Jeremy Larkin has retired from football effective immediately due to a recent diagnosis of cervical stenosis, the university announced.
The Wildcats noted that the diagnosis is not life-threatening but will prevent Larkin from playing football. The neck injury is defined as the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck.
"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."
Larkin played in three games for Northwestern this season and finishes with 346 rushing yards, 19 catches for 127 yards and five touchdowns. He primarily served as the backup running back last season.
"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. "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."