On the same day Nebraska put the finishing touches on this year’s spring practice, a pair of defensive linemen have officially put the finishing touches on their playing career in Lincoln.
According to head coach Mike Riley, Greg McMullen has decided quit the sport of football and move on with his life. Earlier this month, it was reported that the lineman would be taking a leave of absence in order to focus on the academic side of being a student-athlete.
Less than a week later, that sabbatical has morphed into a permanent separation.
“Since he got his degree, he wants to go on with his life,” Riley said. “He’s made a decision not to play football anymore… he’s really got a vision about where he wants to go and what he wants to do, and I’m really proud of him in a lot of ways in what he has done here for this school and this team.
“Saying that, we’ll miss him.”
The last two seasons, McMullen has started 26 games for the Cornhuskers, so his unexpected departure puts a significant dent in NU’s experience along the line. It also puts a dent in the returning production as McMullen as credited with seven tackles for loss and four sacks last season.
In addition to McMullen’s departure, Riley also confirmed that oft-injured lineman Kevin Williams
has decided to transfer out of his program. In November of last year, it was announced that Williams had received a sixth season of eligibility; that eligibility will be used elsewhere will transfer out as a graduate and be eligible to play immediately in 2016 at another FBS program.
Williams missed his entire true freshman season in 2011 because of a knee injury, then missed the entire 2013 season because of another knee issue. His healthiest season came in 2014 when he played in 10 games.
This past season, a groin injury helped limit Williams to eight games.
Williams was a three-star member of the Cornhuskers’ 2011 recruiting class, rated as the No. 36 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 22 player at any position in the state of Ohio. In between the injuries, he’s played in a total of 23 games for the ‘Huskers.