Offensive lineman Heinrich retires due to back injury


Arkansas offensive lineman Jake Heinrich has accepted a medical exemption and will retire from football, he announced Monday.

The former four-star recruit from Urbandale (Iowa) was a member of Arkansas’ 2016 signing class, but did not appear in a game during his two years with the Razorbacks. He redshirted his first year and never cracked the depth chart this past season.

“My time as a football player here in Fayetteville has gone about exactly the opposite of what I imagined it would and I was hoping to right that with a new off-season upon us,” Heinrich wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Unfortunately, after rupturing multiple intervertebral discs in the last few months along and having my spine deteriorated to the point of a senior citizen, according to various doctors, it simply makes sense to accept this new reality for the sake of my long-term health and quality of life.”

Heinrich will get his bachelor’s degree this semester and remain at Arkansas for two more years to go through graduate school. He said former head coach Bret Bielema first approached him about the medical exemption a couple of months ago and that new head coach Chad Morris approved it “with no questions asked.”

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