Notre Dame LB Danny Spond forced to give up football

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Unspecified medial reasons have forced Notre Dame starting outside linebacker Danny Spond to give up football.

Spond was an all-state quarterback in high school and suffered a severe concussion at Littleton (Colo.) Columbine High that almost ended his career. Last season, he missed the first two games while recovering from severe migraines that put him in the hospital.

Spond (6 feet 1, 248 pounds), a senior, started the final 11 games last season, finishing with 39 tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception and three pass breakups.

Coach Brian Kelly said Spond will remain with the team. "He'll travel with us. He'll help coach," Kelly told reporters.

Kelly also said Spond and his family would have a statement this week detailing the reasons for giving up football.

Spond was one of Kelly's first recruits, changing his commitment from Colorado to the Irish after Kelly was hired.

His replacement will be either highly touted true freshman Jaylon Smith (6-3, 230), who was a consensus top-five player nationally in the 2013 recruiting class, or sophomore Ben Councell (6-4, 254).

Irishillustrated.com reported that Spond walked with the assistance of a cane at Notre Dame's practice Saturday.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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