A Gophers defensive lineman, a once highly touted recruit, has medically retired.
Alex Reigelsperger, a redshirt freshman, announced on Twitter his decision, penning a note explaining how a "very serious neck injury injury and concussion" in April have ended his football career. The Ohio native wrote he was in the hospital for four days.
Reigelsperger confirmed in a message he fractured his C4 vertebra during a scrimmage. After several tests, scans and physical therapy, he is still working on memory and speech therapy as well as his mental health. He said coach P.J. Fleck offered him the opportunity to stay around the team and help out, which he is strongly considering for next season.
The 6-4, 255-pound defensive end had yet to play a game for the Gophers but was a four-star recruit in Fleck's first 2018 recruiting class. He wrote that he applied for a medical non-counter with the NCAA and received it, which allows the Gophers to keep his scholarship going without it impacting the the total allotment.
"I understood the consequences of furthering my athletic career if I chose to do so," Reigelsperger said. "And they were dangerous for what I want in life."
Reigelsperger wrote that he intends to write and publish a book within the next year or so about his experience and will continue to work toward his degree in hopes of becoming a juvenile probation officer.
To Minnesota..— Alexander Reigelsperger〽️ (@reigelsperger_a) July 9, 2019
Row The Boat and Ski-U-Mah
ZeroDarkThirty signing out.✌�� pic.twitter.com/xLRYX3AD9O