Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has retired from the NFL after three seasons, the team announced Thursday.
Urschel is 26 years old and was expected to compete for the starting job at center this season as he did participate in the team's offseason workouts.
“This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Urschel issued the following statement on Twitter:
"Thank you to everyone for the kind words today. It wasn't an easy decision, but I believe it was the right one for me. There's no big story here, and I'd appreciate the right to privacy. I'm extremely grateful to the Ravens, and blessed to have been able to play the game I love at the highest level. It is a great game. There are some games – like the playoff game at Pittsburgh – that I will never forget. I'm excited to start working on my doctorate in mathematics full time at MIT. I'm looking forward to the chance to take courses that are only offered in the fall semester, while spending time with my fiance and preparing myself for the new challenges that will come with fatherhood. We're expecting our first child in December."
Urschel is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Urschel was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore in 2014 out of Penn State and appeared in 42 games throughout his career, making 15 starts.