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John Urschel tells Ravens he's retiring from NFL

Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, perhaps known better for his pursuit of a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology than for his three seasons in the NFL, is officially hanging up the helmet.

The team released a statement Thursday morning saying that the 26-year-old fifth-round pick let all of his coaches know.

"This morning John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football," coach John Harbaugh said, via the team's official site. "We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Urschel released the following statement later Thursday:

The move had to be a difficult one for Urschel, who wrote in The Player's Tribune last year about his lifelong tug of war between football and mathematics. The burden of doctorate-level classes at one of the nation's most prestigious universities had to be intense, never mind the fact that he was competing for a starting job in 2017.

Over three years, Urschel started 13 games across four different positions.

While Baltimore still has Ryan Jensen and Matt Skura to choose from at center, the bigger loss is for the NFL as a whole. Urschel was a great ambassador for the game and redefined the meaning of student-athlete. Those interested in following Urschel's post-football career can now turn to his official MIT landing page.

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