Oklahoma TE Grant Calcaterra Announces He's Retiring Because of Concussions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 22, 2019

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 01:  Grant Calcaterra #80 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates a 39-27 win in the Big 12 Championship against the Texas Longhorns at AT&T Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra announced Thursday that he is retiring from football after suffering numerous concussions, with the latest occurring during a midseason practice this year:

Grant Calcaterra @grcalcaterra

To everybody who's been a part of my football journey, Thank You. Philippians 1:6 https://t.co/OmOlUsLiMV

"Over a month ago, I received a concussion in practice," Calcaterra said in part. "But most of you may not know that I've had a fair share of concussions in my career. I spent countless hours visiting with OU medical professionals and specialists around the country. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to step away from the game."

Calcaterra, a 6'4", 233-pound junior, has played in three games this season.

He notably starred during the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game, catching three passes for 38 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-27 win over Texas. That performance helped vault OU into the College Football Playoff.

The Sooners tight end caught 41 passes for 637 yards and nine touchdowns during his collegiate career.

Calcaterra, who called this choice the "hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life," proceeded to thank his family, close friends, girlfriend, teammates and staff members throughout this process.

The tight end closed by saying he plans to graduate from OU in May with a degree in communication and a minor in health and exercise science before becoming a firefighter at home in Southern California.

Calcaterra received an outpouring of support on Twitter in response, including Tyler Palmateer of the Norman Transcript and Lee Benson of News9:

Tyler Palmateer @Tpalmateer83

Grant Calcaterra was always one of the nicest guys to talk with. This is one of the most wise decisions he'll ever make. Good luck to him.

Lee Benson @LeeBensonNews9

I certainly wasn't ready to be done watching Grant Calcaterra play football. This sucks.

OU will host TCU before visiting Oklahoma State to close the regular season. The 9-1 Sooners are ninth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.