Wisconsin left tackle Jon Dietzen on Monday announced he is hanging up his pads due to lingering injuries that have forced him out of the game.
“After a lot of thought and careful consideration, I’ve decided it is in my best interest to step away from football due to numerous injuries,” Dietzen said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “This was not an easy decision, as I have enjoyed every second of my football career, especially those as a Wisconsin Badger.”
Battling hip, ankle and other injuries, Dietzen appeared in 35 games over three seasons, including 20 starts at left guard and 12 at left tackle, all of those in 2018. Though Dietzen was able to start week after week, injuries forced him to compete on a limited snap count.
“It’s not the easiest thing to go up to your coach and tell him you can’t do something,” Dietzen told the Wisconsin State Journal in November. “But it’s kind of been the battle all year.”
At 6-foot-6 and 323 pounds, Dietzen was forced to give up on not only his senior season, but a possible NFL career as well.
With Dietzen’s retirement, Wisconsin will have to replace both tackles and guards heading into 2019. Guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel were seniors, and right tackle David Edwards declared for the NFL draft. Rising junior center Tyler Biadasz will be Bucky’s only returning starter this season.