LINCOLN, Neb. - Despite being on the sidelines to support his teammates during the Red-White game, Nebraska senior defensive lineman Greg McMullen is leaving the game of football. A projected starter in 2017, McMullen has already graduated and will focus on graduate school and his career.
"He has really got a vision about where he wants to go and what he wants to do and I'm really proud of him in a lot of ways for what he has done for this school and team," said head coach Mike Riley after the spring game. "Now going forward we will miss him as a guy around here, a really good person and a football player so it's kind of bittersweet for sure."
McMullen plans to work with youth in the area. He had been on a leave of absence for the last week and a half.
"Part of it was at that time when I said he was going to take some time off and he was getting a little overwhelmed with school as he was getting ready to graduate and getting into graduate school I did not anticipate that that would end up with him deciding not to play," said Riley. "I think he thought it all through in a Greg McMullen type fashion and he decided this is where he wants to go with his life right now. He accomplished this, he got his degree, he's in grad school, he's going to work with kids and that's where he wants to go and that's good."
Multiple players were asked about McMullen's departure in the post-game.
“Greg talked to us today before the game. It’s going to be tough for the team because Greg is one of those senior leaders that everyone looks up to as a good role model to everyone on the team," said senior safety Nate Gerry. "He’s a veteran player that when you get down in the fourth quarter, you can count on him. Having him gone is going to be tough, but like I said, we will need a lot of young D-linemen to step up. I think the Davis twins and Peyton Newell had a pretty good spring.”
Riley also confirmed senior defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who has only played in 23 games over the last five seasons, will transfer as a graduate.
"I don't know where or what he is thinking, but he is looking for a different opportunity," said Riley.
In the video above, defensive coordinator Mark Banker talks about moving on without the pair.