The highest-rated offensive lineman in Stanford’s recruiting class last year has decided to call it a career because of health concerns.
Citing “being held out of play multiple times over the last year because of concussion symptoms,” Clark Yarbrough announced on his Instagram account that he has decided to permanently step away from the sport. “The decision to medically retire is a combination of coming to terms with the totality of my concussion history and what is asked of me as an offensive lineman,” Yarbrough wrote on the social media website. “I understand to continue playing for Stanford I would have to put myself in the exact situations that caused my head problems.”
Yarbrough will remain on scholarship, although that scholarship won’t count against the Cardinal’s 85-man limit.
After months of doctors visits, long discussions with family, and prayer, I am medically retiring from football. Due to being held out of play multiple times over the last year because of concussion symptoms, I am walking away from the game I love. The decision to medically retire is a combination of coming to terms with the totality of my concussion history and what is asked of me as an offensive lineman. I understand to continue playing for Stanford I would have to put myself in the exact situations that caused my head problems. This decision is the hardest I’ve had to make, but part of being an adult is making these difficult choices. I believe it is what is best for me going forward. Thank you to everyone that helped me throughout this journey. Thank you to my coaches both at Woodberry Forest and Stanford University and to my brothers that I was blessed to call teammates. To my family, I’ll never be able to repay you for the unconditional love and support. It truly takes a village. I will strive to continue to show how grateful I am for you guys and make you as proud as I did when I was on the field. I have always had lofty aspirations outside of football and for what I hope to be the better, concussions have begun this new chapter of my life. The worst part of this thing is that I will never know if continuing to play would have seriously affected my long term health, and that is something I will never let go of. With that being said, I can walk away from this knowing that I am making a mature decision and moving forward my life will be entirely what I make of it. When one door closes another opens and regardless of what happens next, my happiness is in my hands.
A four-star member of Stanford’s 2016 recruiting class, Yarbrough was rated as the No. 19 tackle in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Virginia. In addition to being the highest-rated lineman in the Cardinal’s class that year, there were just three other signees in the program’s 16th-ranked class that year rated higher.
Yarbrough took a redshirt as a true freshman.