Neck condition permanently sidelines Northwestern's Jeremy Larkin
Northwestern star running back Jeremy Larkin has retired from football due to a lingering neck injury.
Doctors have officially diagnosed the sophomore rusher with cervical stenosis, a condition where the spinal cord is found to be too small for the spinal canal and nerve roots.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, schools have described Larkin’s condition as “not life-threatening but prevents continued participation in football.”
In three games, Larkin rushed for 346 yards and five touchdowns this season, including plowing for 143 yards and two scores against Purdue in a Week-1 win over Big-Ten rival Purdue.
“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.”
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald didn’t mince words in sizing up what Larkin’s loss will mean for the Wildcats for the rest of the season.
“This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete,” Fitzgerald told the Sun-Times. “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.
Football or not, Larkin’s future remains bright, Fitzgerald said.
“For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the impact he makes in our world.”