Penn State football star Journey Brown was expected to be one of the best running backs in college football this year. Now, it looks as if his football career is over.
This evening, head coach James Franklin announced that Brown will no longer be able to play football. Now, Brown has confirmed as much, after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that leads the muscle to become abnormally thick, which can make it more difficult for the heart to pump blood.
In October, it was announced that Brown could miss the full year with the then-undisclosed medical condition. Per reports, Journey Brown and Penn State got a second opinion, and it unfortunately confirmed the diagnosis.
Brown released a lengthy statement to Twitter about his football career, his love for the game, and the condition. He thanks his family, his Penn State teammates, and coaches, and his hometown of Meadville, Pa. for their support:
— SUNNY-D☀️🦕 (@JourneyBrown6) November 11, 2020
Brown had 129 carries for 890 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, an average of 6.9 yards per attempt last season. He also caught 15 passes for 134 yards and a score.
From his letter:
“I can still remember the first time I truly fell in love with the game I’ve been playing since 4th grade. Back then it was a game I played for fu, but when I was a sophomore in high school, my life changed, and I fell in love with football. All I could think of was when can I play, how can I get better, what can I do o be a better teammate, and at that moment, football became less of a game for me and more of a lifestyle. That lifestyle put me in position to be blessed to have a chance to play football at Penn State.
“My first year here was rough at times, but when you love the game of football as much as I do, you put your head down and work through scout team, lion’s den and the waiting and watching. I finally had the opportunity to showcase what I was born to do and, hopefully, set myself up to achieve my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
“Unfortunate, the dream will never be realized as I have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which will force me to medically retire from the game of football, The pain of not being able to play the game I love anymore hurts and I can’t explain how I am feeling right now. However, I can walk away from the game knowing I truly gave my all at every practice, on every down and in the locker room every day. You never know when you will play your last snap, but I know I left it all out there and have no regrets, other than wishing I could step on the field one final time. I won’t miss the game of football because it will always be part of me.
“Thank you to my family for always supporting me, especially during these difficult past few months. Thank you to my teammates, my brothers. Thank you to my coaches. Thank you Meadville. Thank you, Penn State. Thank you to everyone who believed in me. Most importantly, thank you football!”
Our thoughts go out to Journey Brown as he navigates this tough news, though it sounds like he’s handling everything as well as can be expected.
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