After battling various injuries during his University of Wisconsin football career, standout offensive lineman Jon Dietzen announced Monday on Twitter that he is stepping away from the game for good.
“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 tweeted. “This was not an easy decision, as I’ve enjoyed every second of my football career, especially those as a Wisconsin Badger.”
— Dietzen (@DietzenJon) February 11, 2019
Dietzen, who redshirted in 2015 and quickly became a key member of Wisconsin’s elite offensive line over the past several seasons, battled various ankle injuries during his first few seasons. He then had surgery on both his hips prior to the 2018 season, but still went on to start 12 of 13 games.
The 6-foot-6, 326 pound lineman from Black Creek, Wisconsin started at left tackle last season but split time with sophomore Cole Van Lanen due to his injuries. He also served as the team’s starting left guard in 2017 as part of a dominant unit that allowed a Big Ten-best 1.5 sacks per game.
Despite his struggles with the injury bug, Dietzen left his mark as an important member of arguably the nation’s best offensive line, paving the way for the emergence of newly anointed Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of the Wisconsin football team and to be able to call myself a Wisconsin Badger,” Dietzen tweeted. “I will cherish my time at this university.”
Dietzen’s absence leaves the Badgers’ offensive line in jeopardy, as they now need to replace four of their five starters from 2018 before the upcoming season. Van Lanen demonstrated his abilities in limited playing time behind Dietzen in 2018 and should be slated to assume a larger role in 2019.