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Penn State RB Journey Brown medically retires from football due to heart issue

Penn State running back Journey Brown is having to medically retire from football after he was discovered to have a prohibitive issue with his heart.

According to Tom VanHaaren of, Penn State head coach James Franklin announced that Brown had been diagnosed with the heart ailment during COVID-19 screenings earlier this fall. When the Big Ten restarted its football activities in October, Penn State announced at the time that Brown was being held out due to a discovered medical issue.

It was discovered through a routine COVID-19 test, although it is not COVID-related,” Franklin said. “We learned about this in early September, and we’ve been working through this and dealing with this as a team. Journey is one of the most popular and respected players on our team.

“The entire organization has rallied behind Journey and his family.”

Brown wrote about the decision in a posting on his Twitter page, saying he had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

“I finally had the opportunity to showcase what I was born to do and, hopefully, set myself up to achieve my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL,” Brown wrote. “Unfortunately, the dream will never be realized as I have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which will force me to medically retire from the game of football. The pain of not being able to play the game I love anymore hurts and I can’t explain how I am feeling right now.”

Per the Mayo Clinic, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy refers to the thickening of the heart walls.

Brown racked up a total of 1,024 yards from scrimmage with 13 total touchdowns last season for Penn State and was highly regarded as a prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft.