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Texas Tech lineman is third Big 12 player this week to retire because of concussions

The spate of Big 12 football players being permanently forced to the sidelines because of head injuries continues, with Texas Tech the latest see this sort of attrition.

In a missive he posted to his Twitter account Tuesday, Cody Wheeler announced that, because of “repeated concussions,” he has “decided that it is best for my personal health that I retire from the game that I have loved ever since I was a kid.” Kliff Kingsbury subsequently confirmed that the backup offensive lineman was no longer a part of his football program, although the Tech head coach declined to confirm that concussions triggered the decision.

Red Raider for life.✊🏻

— Cody Wheeler (@BigWheels69_) October 5, 2016

Wheeler was a two-star 2015 recruit. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Wheeler was a backup lineman who hadn’t seen the field yet this season.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal made note of what it described as “staggering attrition along"Tech’s line: “From the last four recruiting classes, Tech has had nine offensive line signees who either never made it to campus or had short stays in the program. Six were high school recruits and three from junior colleges.”

Tuesday, Kansas announced that offensive Jordan Shelley-Smith would be retiring because of “a series of concussions.” The day before, Bob Stoops announced that linebacker Tay Evans‘ career had come to an end because of concussions. “[T]he doctors feel it’s in his best interest moving forward,” the Oklahoma head coach said.