Early last season, Tre Bryant looked like he could be a star in the Big Ten. Through two games against Arkansas State and Oregon, he ran for 299 yards and two scores.
That game against Oregon wound up being his last. Bryant's football career has been unfortunately cut short.
With 107 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against the Ducks, Bryant went down with an injury. After surgery, he wound up missing the rest of the season.
He has had two additional surgeries since, and despite feeling better, his knees are both "bone on bone," according to head coach Scott Frost.
Tre Bryant announced his retirement from Nebraska football on Friday night.
He made the announcement in a lengthy note posted to Twitter.
From his note:
“Football is a physically demanding game as I would come to learn later in my career. Three knee surgeries later, I began to notice the passion I had for the game being replaced with frustration. Frustrated with the results I would witness on film, seeing a hole on the field and just not being able to make the cutback. I began to hate the game I grew to love so damn much. When fresh, I was able to rock but my daily performance was honestly nowhere near my standards. My body couldn't keep up with the college grind and I had to learn to accept that. I am forever grateful for my journey as a football player. The relationships and memories made along the way will last a lifetime. Having the opportunity to wear that ‘N’ and represent Nebraska every time I took the field was a true blessing.”
When I got injured last season, I told myself I would jog off the field when my last day of football came, rather than being carried off in pain. Thanks to this staff and fall camp, I was able to make that a reality. I jogged off the practice field with a smile on my face, enjoying my last day of Football. Time waits for no Man... My time with Football is up... #GBR"
Frost, who did not have the chance to coach Bryant in the regular season, hoped that he would have a role in the new Huskers offense this fall. From the Omaha World-Herald:
“He’s good enough to be a great player, and I feel terrible for the kid because I think he had a future in the game and a bright future in the game. But it’s hard. Without saying too much, he talks about going home and not being able to sleep at night because of aching and pain in there.”
“He’s been incredible since we’ve been here,” Frost said. “He’s had some knee issues and at the beginning of camp looked great and I think he felt great. I think he’s just kind of figured out that he can’t do it with the condition that he has. So we’re going to support him and help him any way that we can. But I just don’t think that his knees will hold up right now.”
It's really rough news for a player with such upside, but it appears that he's taking things okay, and stepping away from the game at the right time.