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SO LONG, FAREWELL: Jay Scheel to retire from playing football

The wide receiver cites his health as the reason for hanging it up.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore Jay Scheel, a wide receiver from Mount Auburn, Iowa, took to Twitter today to announce his retirement from football. He previously had two operations on his knees, and decided to hang up his cleats after finding another undisclosed issue with them. Below is the statement that he released on his Instagram.

A photo posted by Jay Scheel (@jay_scheel) on

Scheel came to Iowa City as a quarterback after having plenty of success as a dual threat quarterback at Union High School, where he helped guide his team to a state championship. A former four star recruit, he was one of the most heralded athletes the team has brought in to play in recent memory. He ended up making the transition to wide receiver and never fully lived up to the hype.

In his freshman year, Scheel appeared in two games without recording a statistic. With the departure of seniors Tevaun Smith and Jacob Hillyer, as well as the departure of Emmanuel Ogwo, many expected him to come in and make a big impact with the team in 2016. Despite making an appearance in 12 games during his sophomore campaign, Scheel rarely saw any action, rushing once for four yards and hauling in five catches for 56 yards as a part of Iowa’s anemic offense.

With the retirement of Scheel, Iowa will have one less option at wide receiver, where they were extremely thin in 2016. His departure will likely lead to an increased emphasis on recruiting wide receivers in the next couple of weeks before National Signing Day. At the moment, Jerminic Smith and Matt VandeBerg are expected to be Iowa’s top two receivers in 2017 and there will be a lot of uncertainty as to who factors into the equation after them.

It’s disappointing to see such an enormous talent depart the program, but if leaving football will help decrease the likelihood of facing more knee injuries, then he’s making the best possible decision for his future. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors, Mr. Scheel.