Acceus: Giving up Football 'the Toughest Thing I've Had to Do'
Louis Acceus was advised to give up playing football back in March because of excessive concussions.
But he wasn't ready to do it.
"I still took a chance," Acceus said.
It's a chance that took him only as far as preseason camp.
When the NC State linebacker suffered yet another concussion in practice, he was once again told that remaining on the team wasn't in his best interest. This time, he listened to the medical experts and called it quits.
The 5-foot-11, 230-pound senior announced Monday that his playing days are officially over.
"I kind of felt like it was time to hang it up back (in March), but the situation that happened in August, that's when they told me 'you've got to hang it up now. You're just hurting yourself at this point."
Although the decision was the right one for Acceus' health and future, he still described it as "probably the toughest thing I've had to do in my life behind committing to a school because I've been doing this for the last 14 years. Just thinking about that, it's heartbreaking."
It was just as tough a blow to Acceus' teammates in the linebackers room, a tight-knit group that is also the deepest position group on the team.
"Louis is one of our closest guys," fellow linebacker and Wolfpack co-captain Isaiah Moore said. "He's my brother. Me and him are part of the same class. we came in together, prayed with each other. My heart definitely hurts for him.
"It definitely puts things into perspective for a lot of us. Any down can be your last down. Any snap can be your last snap. so you've got to give it your all."
That kind of effort was Acceus' trademark. He was a smart, physical player who ranked fourth on the team with 50 tackles and third in sacks with 4.5 despite missing the final four games with a concussion.
He finishes his State career having played in 32 games, starting nine times. He recorded 79 tackles with six tackles for losses and those 4.5 sacks.
While he won't be on the field with the Wolfpack this season, Acceus will still be on the sideline. At the suggestion of coach Dave Doeren, he will assume the role of student assistant coach.
"Coach Doeren told me when I had a meeting with him that it would be (a mistake) for to leave the program on the count of all the resources I have here," Acceus said. "I can be in football operations, coaching, strength staff, things like that. "It allows me to be around the players."
It will also give the New York native a head start on the next phase of his career in football.
His primary role will be to work with the linebackers, but he said he's willing to help out wherever he's needed, in any way he's needed.
"I've always thought about coaching when I'm done with my (playing) career," Acceus said. "But with the situation I have, I think it's time to get into coaching, test the waters and see if it's for me."
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