Penn State's Journey Brown retiring from football due to heart condition

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Thursday, November 12, 2020
(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Penn State running back Journey Brown is medically retiring from football after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Head coach James Franklin announced Wednesday night that the redshirt junior would no longer be able to play. Brown had been held out of the season, as Penn State announced in October that a medical condition was discovered in the offseason.

According to WebMD, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy "is associated with thickening of the heart muscle ... which leads to stiffening of the walls of the heart and abnormal aortic and mitral heart valve function, both of which may impede normal blood flow out of the heart."

"It was discovered through a routine COVID-19 test, although it is not COVID-related," Franklin said. "We learned about this in early September, and we've been working through this and dealing with this as a team. Journey is one of the most popular and respected players on our team.

"The entire organization has rallied behind Journey and his family."

Brown started 10 games for Penn State last season and led the team with 890 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 217-pound back was set to be one of the more important players coming back on offense.

Brown took to social media Wednesday night to express his feelings about the diagnosis.

He wrote about the first time he fell in love with football and how it changed his life and how it became less of a game and more of a lifestyle.

"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," Brown wrote. "Unfortunately, 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."

Brown went on to say that he gave everything he had and has no regrets about how his journey is ending.

Penn State has been without Brown this season and lost running back Noah Cain to injury. Devyn Ford is now carrying the workload in the run game, along with quarterback Sean Clifford. The team has 388 total rushing yards and two touchdowns.