Northwestern senior cornerback Matthew Harris has retired from football in the wake of a concussion suffered in Week 2 versus Illinois State, the program announced.
"This is an incredibly difficult decision to reach, but it is the right one for me and for my future," said Harris. "I'm so thankful for Coach Fitzgerald, Coach Brown and the rest of the staff that brought me to Northwestern and have mentored me over the last several years. My teammates are like brothers, and while not being on the field with them has been frustrating and challenging, I'm so proud of the group and what we've helped build together. I owe thanks to our athletic training and sports medicine staffs, whose care throughout my Wildcats career has been outstanding. Finally and most importantly, I can never appropriately express the love and gratitude I have for my family, which has supported me on every step of this journey and will continue to for years to come."
Matt Harris profile
Matt Harris profile
Harris suffered a concussion on his first play at Northwestern on special teams coverage as a true freshman. He was able to come back and earn a starting role on the defense by the end of the year, though. He then sustained another concussion his sophomore year at Penn State. In his junior season, Harris suffered a scary facial fracture against Michigan. He missed just one game, however. This year, the head injury has ended his career.
Harris finishes his Northwestern career with 161 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions and three forced fumbles. He was a team captain this season.
Here’s some reaction from around Twitter:
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune:
Just learned that #Northwestern CB Matt Harris is retiring from football due to repeated concussions. One of my all-time favorite guys.— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) October 24, 2016
Louie Vaccher of Wildcat Report:
Chris Bowers of Northwestern’s director of player personnel:
Roommate and teammate Anthony Walker Jr.: