OWINGS MILLS, Md. (CBS/AP) — Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has retired from the NFL after just three seasons.

john urschel NFL Player Retires At 26 To Pursue Doctorate At MIT

Guard John Urschel #64 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Matt Hazlet/Getty Images)

Urschel, a former fifth round pick from Penn State in 2014, received notoriety for pursuing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the offseason. He started 13 games over the past three seasons and was expected to compete for a starting role at center or guard. Instead, he will pursue other interests outside of football.

“This morning, John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement Thursday. “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’s MIT web page states that he spends most of his time “thinking about graph theory, machine learning, and numerical analysis.” He’s also made headlines for his love of chess. 

The retirement announcement comes just days after a Boston University study found that 99 percent of NFL players’ brains had CTE.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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