COLUMBUS, OH (WALB) - Former Lee County QB Stephen Collier has decided to retire as a football player. The Ohio State Buckeye explained his decision in an article published by Land of 10 Thursday.
"Yes, it is hard to acknowledge that it's time for me to hang up my cleats," Collier writes.
The former Trojan missed the entire 2016 season after tearing his ACL in the spring. After the injury and graduating in three years with a bachelor's degree, Collier made the decision to retire as a player and step into a support role with the Buckeyes.
"There were opportunities to go elsewhere to keep living that dream, but why would I leave the greatest institution in the United States? That doesn't make any sense at all," he says. "It's time for me to start living my new dream."
As well as serving in a behind-the-scenes role with Ohio State, Collier has begun working towards a Master's degree.
Outside of emulating Oregon's Marcus Mariota during the team's practices leading up to the 2015 national title game, Collier's career at Ohio State was relatively uneventful. He took three snaps in a 38-0 win over Hawaii in 2015, but mostly served as the third string quarterback during his time in Columbus.
That doesn't seem to bother him though. Collier notes he laughed when people suggested he transfer to a program where he would play more.
"Being a Buckeye transcends playing time in every way imaginable," he writes. "Only someone who is skilled enough to be involved in this program could understand that."
Collier isn't fully leaving football. He just won't put on the pads anymore. As he transitions to this new chapter in his life, the former Trojan star has words for all Ohio State fans.
"As I begin taking those steps, I wanted to take one last moment to say thank you," he says. "So thank you, Buckeye Nation, for supporting this team, this university and me for the last three years. It's been my greatest honor and privilege to play for you. I will be a Buckeye for life."
To read the entire article on Land of 10, click here.