Charles Walker, the Oklahoma defensive lineman who has made news lately for his absence from the field, announced his retirement from college football on Tuesday.
Unlike other college athletes who have announced a premature retirement from the game, however, Walker hopes to play football again. The redshirt junior will forego the rest of his eligibility, including the Sooners’ remaining games this season, and prepare for the NFL Draft.
After appearing in the first four games of the season, Walker has been out since sustaining a concussion ahead of OU’s October 8th game against Texas. It was at least the preseason All-Big 12 defensive lineman’s second concussion in less than a year. He was held out of the Sooners’ College Football Playoff appearance against Clemson to end last season.
Earlier this year, Walker was regarded by some as a top 5 defensive tackle prospect in next year’s NFL Draft. He’ll now have to wait to see how his extended absence from football impacts his draft stock.
Walker isn’t the only member of the Oklahoma defense who has left the team. Head Coach Bob Stoops announced a “mutual” parting of ways this week between the team and senior defensive end Matt Dimon.
“It’s multiple issues,” Stoops said. “The injury has led to some other things and, at the end of the day, it’s just not working any more.”
Dimon has been out since straining his Achilles tendon against Ohio State.