Northwestern RB Jeremy Larkin retires

Submitted by Big Boutros on September 24th, 2018 at 12:11 PM

Sophomore Jeremy Larkin will retire from football, effective immediately, due to a recent diagnosis of cervical stenosis. The condition is not life threatening but prevents continued participation in football.

— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) September 24, 2018


Perkis-Size Me

September 24th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

Feel awful for the kid. I remember watching him when they played Purdue and I thought he looked pretty good. But at least its not life-threatening. 

Hope he finds a lot of success in whatever else he may do. I'm sure he will, as he's getting a degree from one of the best universities in America. 


September 24th, 2018 at 12:19 PM ^

My daughter is a student at Northwestern.  She is heartbroken.  (Her WiFi network is called "RIP Justin Jackson" so this is more bad news...)  Tough break for the kid.  They've got a big hole to fill.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

This reminds of an Army story. (I know, I know)


We were lining up to get our flight physicals, and this was right before some of us would go to either go off to learn to fly helicopters or be in a field that would require you to be flying a lot as a medic, SF, Infantry etc. A cadet in front of me was immediately diagnosed with a heart conditioned and instantaneously his military career was over before it started. He had already branched Aviation too. The guy was devastated. Feel for Larkin. A NU degree is something to fall back on though.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:22 PM ^

Well, that sucks.  I feel bad for the kid and for NW football.  That program never seems to get any breaks, and Pat Fitzgerald is a decent person.  I'm sure NW will honor his scholarship, so at least he has that going for him.  Good luck to him...


September 24th, 2018 at 12:24 PM ^

Man that is a tough break for him. It's sad to give up something you love this way. Fortunately, they caught it before any serious injury happened, and he's going to get a great education at Northwestern. 


September 24th, 2018 at 12:26 PM ^

I have this condition. It basically means that you have bone spurs or bone growth in your cervical vertebrae that can jut into the various nerve branches that come out of your spine. There are surgical procedures that can provide relief, mainly one that's called a laminal foraminotomy that involved going into the spinal canal and opening things up, but it's not foolproof and sometimes doesn't help. 

When it acts up severely, my whole arm can go fairly weak and numb, but more often the attacks just feel like someone is jabbing a pencil deep into the side of my neck. The pain isn't difficult taken in small doses, but after a while it starts to drive you nuts. 

Many people get this, but it's usually associated with getting old (I'm in my 40s), so I never really considered it a big deal. It's sort of like neck arthritis, and I always assumed I got it because I have spent my entire life swinging various types of things, mainly baseball bats.

This is not the end of the world for Larkin by any means I wouldn't think, unless he has a strain of this that I'm not familiar with. 


September 24th, 2018 at 12:29 PM ^

Dang. Hate to hear that. NU degree should be a solid fallback so hopefully he can succeed.

Related note - Found a Yahoo college fantasy football league this year and Larkin had been killing it for me so off to the waivers now.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

For the MGoDoctors out there, is this the type of condition where if it had gone undetected, it could have become a life-threatening condition had he continued to play football?

Wish him the best in his future, non-football participating endeavors.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

September 24th, 2018 at 12:46 PM ^

Good question. It is not generally considered life-threatening.  However, it can be very quality of life threatening.  With enough repetitive stress, he could have been struggling with neuropathy issues for the rest of his life.  Typically physical therapy may be able to help him to avoid surgery, and his prognosis should be excellent since he is retiring from football. We all certainly wish him the very best.

4th and Go For It

September 24th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

Northwestern may be in for a long season indeed this year.  Michigan, MSU, Wisconsin, ND, and Iowa still on the schedule. That leaves Minnesota, Rutgers, Illinois, and Nebraska as their best chances at wins after a 1-2 start. Glad Larkin is making a good decision for his life and future. Tough break for NU football. Looks like their fall back options here are Moten, a Jr. with few carries to his career and a freshman Isiah Bower who has one carry. Couple other guys on the roster but this will make them pretty one-dimensional


September 24th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

This is awful. Poor guy. The quick change to life must be jarring when you have presumably worked very hard on this one activity for years and done it successfully. Never wish medical retirements on anyone.

Ali G Bomaye

September 24th, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

Best of luck to Larkin - this is why you get a degree from a place like Northwestern or Michigan, because as Grant Newsome can tell you, football careers can end at any minute.

I have to wonder if this will affect the game this weekend. Larkin had 72 carries for 346 yards (4.8 average) for the season; Northwestern's only other RB to get more than one carry on the season, John Moten, has 12 carries for 21 yards (1.8 average). Pat Fitzgerald loves to ride his primary RB, but this year it might be because they don't have any talent on the bench.

Blues the ONE

September 24th, 2018 at 3:15 PM ^

It is a tough break for Northwestern Football and in a way a tough break for Jeremy. 


On the flip side though, hopefully he gets an all expense paid 4 year degree from one of the leading universities in the country.  I just looked and they are at about $54,000 for this academic year or likely about $215,000 for 4 years.  



Killer Khakis

September 24th, 2018 at 3:34 PM ^

Prayers to Larkin, hope he's alright and lives a good life.

However with this development I'm excited for NU freshman running back Isaiah Bowser. Kid is from my hometown, hard worker, smart cookie, and an even better human. He was an early enrollee, it'd be cool to see him get some extended playing time. 

Cereal Killer

September 24th, 2018 at 5:40 PM ^

Really awful.  Hate it for that kid.  He and my nephew played at the same HS, Cincinnati - LaSalle.  I went to every playoff game Larkin's senior year, except the state championship game (which LaSalle won).  Larkin was unstoppable.  So fun to watch.  Happy for him that he's going to have a Northwestern degree.


September 24th, 2018 at 6:17 PM ^

Good thing he factored academics into his college selection. He’ll be ok. Does this mean we have to ignore Brian’s front page post and wait another week for a true test?


September 24th, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

Son of a bitch.  Way too young for that diagnosis.  Hopefully they can control it and doesn’t advance.  On the upside it’s fantastic to see to the level of care the athletes are provided to timely make these decisions.