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Former Big Ten Football Standout Announces His Retirement

A closeup of a Wisconsin Badgers football helmet.

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 16: Wisconsin Badgers football helmet during the game between the Badgers and the BYU Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Former Wisconsin All-Big Ten honorable mention and CEO of "The Grit Factory," Collin Wilder, has come to terms with his football mortality.

On Monday night, the Badgers defensive back and respected team leader announced that his playing days are coming to an end after hoping to earn a spot at the next level.

When the NFL said my body was too jacked up to play, I know I played this game the right way. I only knew one way to play football and it was with violence. Because of that, I can be at peace. Just not enough words to describe this journey.

All of the highs and lows made me who I am today, and the relationships I made with teammates, coaches and staff go beyond the plays made on the field. Thank you to my family and teammates for having my back and believing in me when I didn't believe in myself. My journey happened to become incredibly unique, and I take so much pride in that.

... I gave the game my heart and it gave me so much more in return. Though my playing days are over, I will be ready to put my heart and soul into something else. ... THANK YOU, FOOTBALL.

Wilder played in 32 games, including 12 starts, as a member of Wisconsin's secondary from 2019-2021 after transferring from Houston as a walk-on.

He ultimately went on to earn a scholarship from one of the Big Ten's most notable programs with his on-field performance, highlighted by his two interceptions on Senior Day.

Wilder participated in the Badgers' Pro Day, but after hearing what NFL scouts had to say, he'll now pour that passion into his next chapter.