Notre Dame's Corey Robinson retiring from playing football because of concussions

Published: Jun. 15, 2016 at 1:27 PM EDT
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Corey Robinson is retiring from football and won’t play his senior season for the Notre Dame football team after suffering three concussions in the last year.

Robinson made the much-anticipated news official in a statement on Wednesday.

"After much contemplation and prayer, I have decided not to continue football due to multiple concussions," Robinson explained. "I couldn't have come to this difficult personal decision without the incredible support from so many within the Notre Dame football program. I am extremely thankful to Coach Kelly and his staff for the life-changing opportunity to play football at the greatest University in the world. I will continue to help our team as a student assistant and look forward to a great senior season."

Robinson, who was elected as the Notre Dame student body president in February, said at the time he had wrestled with the idea of giving up football. After consulting with his family, he decided he wanted to enjoy one last season on the field while also being the student body president. But when Notre Dame opened up spring practice in March, Robinson suffered his third concussion in one year. He never returned to practice this spring. Robinson and his family met with Dr. Jeff Kutcher, the national director of the Sports Neurology Clinic, in April.

"This was an extremely tough decision for Corey," Irish Coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. "He's such a committed kid to everything he does--whether its academics, football, community service or campus leadership initiatives--that he wanted to finish four-year career on the field. He was so excited to lead a group of young receiver this fall. While that won't happen in the manner Corey initially intended, he will remain involved with the program on a day-to-day basis as a student assistant. He sets a remarkable example for all our players--not only how to represent yourself on and off the field, but also how working hard through adversity can lead to tremendous success."

The son of NBA legend David Robinson, Corey had a promising start to his college career as a wide receiver for the Irish. He played in 13 games as a freshman in 2013, catching nine passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. His sophomore season in 2014 proved to be his best year. He caught 40 passes for 539 yards and five touchdowns. Robinson struggled at times in 2015 and finished the season with just 16 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Robinson’s biggest struggles came against Clemson in 2015. Usually a sure-handed receiver, Robinson just missed on a touchdown grab at the end of the 1st half. Then when Notre Dame scored a touchdown early in the 4th quarter and went for two, Robinson couldn’t make the catch on the conversion. The Irish ended up losing by two.

But while that was Robinson’s most recognizable struggle on the field, it proved to be his shining moment off the field. Robinson owned the mistake and was front and center in media interviews that week, taking responsibility and showing his leadership abilities. It’s one of the many reasons he is beloved by the coaches and his teammates.

Robinson is an extremely active member in community service and charity work. When Notre Dame played Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl, the team took part in a community service project at Ikea by building beds for kids who never had their own. Robinson was front and center, on the ground, building the beds from scratch. You could see the cause was so important to him and he was going all out to make sure that the project was completed in the best way possible.