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Michigan QB commit J.D. Johnson announces end of football career due to medical condition

Jim Harbaugh to honor Johnson’s scholarship, offer him position on staff

Michigan commit J.D. Johnson
Michigan commit J.D. Johnson (JD Johnson/Twitter: @jd10johnson)

Michigan quarterback commit J.D. Johnson announced Wednesday that his football career has come to an end due to a medical condition, but coach Jim Harbaugh will honor his scholarship and give him a place on the team staff.

Johnson made the announcement on Twitter, posting a trio of notepad screenshots.

Here are his full comments:

"I want to announce that as of today, my football playing career has come to an end.

"I was born with an undecided birth defect called a ‘coarctation of my aorta,’ which was diagnosed when I was 12. I knew following my senior season that I required an expansion adjustment to the stent I had inserted back then, which is scheduled for Dec. 12, but my focus remained on winning the first Arizona State 6A championship at Pinnacle High School.

"After going through a battery of tests and a complete evaluation of my cardiovascular system, the doctors discovered that I have some issues that cannot be corrected through additional surgery. I was told that I did not meet the clearance standard to continue playing a contact sport for fear that my aorta could rupture or that not enough blood would get to my brain, causing an on-field stroke.

"Upon receiving this news, I was not only in shock, but I was terrified as to what this meant about my future at Michigan. In mid-December 2018, I took an unofficial visit to the University of Michigan, where I found a true TEAM environment that was perfect for me.

"I wanted nothing more than to be a Michigan man. Coach Harbaugh called after receiving the news of my test results. Unsure and scared to what the conversation was going to be, coach, without hesitation, said that my scholarship would be honored, and offered me a position to join the Wolverines staff and help any way I can.

"I am a witness to Coach Harbaugh’s character and integrity in a situation where he has every reason to tell me, ‘Good luck with your future.’ He means what he says and stands behind his commitments when he could have taken the easy way out. He demonstrated a high level of loyalty to a player who will never throw a touchdown pass for him.

"I already bled Michigan blue, but Coach Harbaugh demonstrated an example to me like the old ‘Starfish Parable.’ You cannot impact everyone’s life, but sometimes making a difference in the life of just one counts for something.

"There is no better place to be a college football player than Ann Arbor. Coach Harbaugh -- I promise I will make the opportunity you have given me count.

"I have been so blessed to play with amazing and talented teammates and thankful that I have been coached by outstanding character-centered coaches over the past 12 years. Thank you!

“I gain peace through Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, 'For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Johnson was listed as a three-star recruit and the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class. He was the No. 384 overall player and the No. 11 player in Arizona, according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

He committed to the Wolverines on Dec. 21, 2018. He had offers from Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oregon and Arizona, among other schools.


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