Arkansas State starting center Bryce Giddens will retire from football due to injuries incurred while playing, Red Wolves head coach Blake Anderson announced in a press release Monday.
The statement implies that Giddens’ injuries were head-related, being described as having occurred in the past and recently:
“After multiple discussions with Bryce, his family and doctors, we support Bryce’s decision to step away from football,” said Anderson. “Bryce is obviously a talented football player, but the health and well-being of all our players comes first. We wish Bryce only the best in his future endeavors. As far as our football team goes, I’m confident we will have several players step up on our offensive line this fall to fill the vacancy left by Bryce.”
A two-year starter who was entering his junior season, Giddens was expected to be a key part of Arkansas State’s offensive line later this year. Instead, he’ll continuing attending school on scholarship while pursuing his degree, leaving behind his football career rather than risk further injuries to his upper body.
Earlier this year, Giddens was named to the Rimington Trophy’s Spring Watch List along with 63 other players from across the nation. The Rimington Trophy is given to the nation’s top center, and Giddens became the first ever Arkansas State player to be named to the Spring Watch List twice.
In 2013, Giddens was a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection as Arkansas State won its third straight conference title and second straight GoDaddy Bowl. He helped anchor an offense that was tops in the Sun Belt Conference in rushing offense at over 200 yards a game.