Northwestern’s starting running back retires in advance of Michigan game
When Michigan faces Northwestern on Saturday, the Wildcats will be without their leading rusher. Sophomore Jeremy Larkin will retire from football, effectively immediately, due to a recent diagnosis of cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the upper part of the spine, Northwestern announced Monday.
The school said the condition was not life threatening but will prevent Larkin from playing football.
“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 release.
Larkin carried the ball 72 times for 346 yards and five touchdowns. Northwestern’s second-leading rusher, junior John Moten IV, has just 12 carries for 21 yards. Larkin, with 12 receptions, was also the team’s second most productive pass catcher.
The Wildcats are 1-2, having won at Purdue in their opener before losing at home to Duke and, two weeks ago, Akron.
Now they’ll forge ahead without Larkin.
“This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete,” Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a release. “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.”