Ohio State junior defensive tackle Donovan Munger's career has come to an end, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer announced Wednesday.
Munger's career came to an end due to blood clot issues that have plagued him since high school, Meyer said, and he was given a year to let those issues try and heal, but it didn't happen. Meyer said Munger's diagnosis is pulmonary embolism.
"It’s tough whenever anybody has to give up college football," Meyer said. "But the health of a player is more important than playing football."
"It's tough. You put your whole life into playing this game of football and you love it so much and then it gets taken away from you," Munger's position coach, Larry Johnson, added. "It's a tough thing to kind of swallow, but I think he understands this is best for him. He'll still be a part of us, be a part of our unit and a guy that we can talk to but I think now it gives us a chance to move on in his life and do a great job in the classroom. Get his degree and if he wants to get into coaching, he'll be able to do that. But right now, the best part of him is just taking care of himself."
Munger appeared in 11 games for Ohio State during its national championship season and 12 last year in a backup role at defensive tackle. Johnson said he played well in the Fiesta Bowl, and he'll be missed not only between the lines but also in the meeting room.
"Not only do we lose a player, we lose some leadership skills," Johnson said. "I though Donovan did a great job as a player. He was a real close guy with the guys in our room. We're going to miss him, because he's a guy that daily he kind of kept the group going. He had some jokes to tell or he always impersonated somebody and everybody kind of got a big laugh out of it. He'll bounce back from this."
Ohio State now sits at 86 scholarship players. The Buckeyes have to be down to the NCAA-mandated 85 by the first day of class or fall camp, whichever comes first.