Sean Welsh is walking away from football, saying he no longer has the passion to play the game.
A first-team all-Big Ten offensive lineman for Iowa last season, Welsh announced his retirement from the game Friday.
It was a decision he reached less than two weeks after signing a free-agent contract with the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
“Although this decision might feel quick for many, I’ve had apprehension about pursuing a professional career for some time,’’ Welsh said in a statement announcing his decision.
“I believe football is one of the greatest games every played, it’s one that should be played with passion and an unwavering desire. For me, this is no longer the case.’’
A 48-game starter during his career with the Hawkeyes, Welsh found himself in national headlines last summer when he spoke publicly about his experiences with depression.
He went on to extend a string of 23 consecutive starts, continuing in a role as a team leader.
Welsh, who earned an undergraduate degree from Iowa in business and marketing before concluding his career, participated in the Senior Bowl and in the NFL Combine earlier this year but went undrafted before signing on April 28 with Washington.
A 6-foot-3, 295-pound native of Springboro, Ohio, Welsh said he reached his decision to call it a career after considerable thought.
“I am so hopeful and eager to approach this next chapter of my life,’’ Welsh said. “I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish what I couldn’t have done without the help of many along the way. I am profoundly grateful for the people in my life that have made what I’ve done possible.’’
He went on to thank the Redskins organization for the opportunity they gave him to compete for a roster spot at the professional level.
“I never expected to make it this far and I consider myself among the luckiest guys in the world to experience what I have,’’ Welsh said.