NOLAN BREWSTER, 25, safety with Texas, medically retired in September 2011 because of concussions and post-traumatic migraine headaches. He suffered a severe concussion on 9/17/11 in a game versus UCLA. Brewster is the son of former Minnesota head coach and Texas assistant Tim Brewster. “It’s difficult because I love football and playing for Texas, but I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. I just know I can’t keep playing worrying about this continuing to get worse and knowing that I’m risking my long-term quality of life.”—“Texas’ Nolan Brewster quits football”, ESPN.com 9/26/11, with info from AP used in the report. (The prior season Texas running back Tre’ Newton gave up football because of recurring concussions.)
PATRICK LARIMORE, 24, middle linebacker with UCLA, medically retired on 8/12/12 because of multiple concussions before what would’ve been his senior season. He was a team captain in his junior season and was the team’s defensive MVP after leading UCLA in tackles. He started playing in fifth grade and played at least 11 years, and was once knocked out on a head-to-head hit without helmets in a touch football game. Larimore was once hit in spring practice at UCLA with such force that he lost feeling in his legs, was rushed to ER, but did not suffer spinal damage. He sustained at least 6 concussions, at various times experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity, and mood disturbance. He yelled at his parents, Patricia and Bryan, when they tried to dissuade him from playing any longer, his anger stemming from his belief that he could play in the NFL.—“The Decision: The Patrick Larimore Story”, E: 60, Bob Woodruff, 10/30/12.
RYAN SWOPE, 24, wide receiver with Arizona in the NFL and Texas A&M in college, 2009-13, retired because of recurring concussions before he ever played an NFL game. He had 4 concussions in college, where he played 51 games, and another in off-season training with Arizona. “…I was advised by doctors that there were serious risks in returning to play football at this point.”—“Ryan Swope, Cards rookie, retires due to concussions”, NFL.com 7/26/13, Gregg Rosenthal.
DAVID ASH, 22, quarterback with Texas, 2013-14, suffered a concussion in the 2014 season opener versus North Texas, in which he took several hard hits, but finished the game before feeling the effects afterward. Ash missed 10 games last season due to a concussion in a game at BYU, and received a medical redshirt. Coach Charlie Strong says Ash will be out indefinitely and is worried about the quarterback’s future.—Chicago Tribune 8/30/14. CBSsports.com 9/8/14, Tom Fornelli.
9/22/14 Update: After being told by team doctors that if he were their son they wouldn’t let him play, Ash retired from football on 9/22/14. He experienced headaches for 7 or 8 days after the North Texas game concussion. He has not disclosed how many concussions he’s had, but has not had memory loss. “At the core of my heart of hearts, I knew I shouldn’t be playing. It’s been hard, I’ve met my quota for crying for the next ten years. I’m not a victim, I’m a victor.”—“David Ash: ‘Awesome days ahead’”, ESPN.com 9/22/14, Max Olson.