Penn State Runs Back Journey Brown is medically withdrawing from football after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Head coach James Franklin announced on Wednesday evening that the Redshirt junior could no longer play. Brown had been held out of season when Penn State announced in October that an off-season illness was discovered.
According to WebMD, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy "is associated with thickening of the heart muscle … resulting in stiffening of the heart walls and abnormal aortic and mitral valve function, both of which can impede normal blood flow from the heart."
"It was discovered through a routine COVID-19 test, although it is unrelated to COVID," Franklin said. "We found out about this in early September and we've worked this through and dealt with it as a team. Journey is one of the most popular and respected players on our team.
"The entire organization has gathered behind Journey and his family."
Brown started 10 games for Penn State last season, leading the team with 890 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 217-pound back should be one of the key players coming back on offense.
Brown took to social media Wednesday night to express his feelings about the diagnosis.
I didn't even expect to make it this far, but it's about the journey, not the destination. #HLM #SIAM pic.twitter.com/nbQrIsjXzY
– SUNNY-D☀️???? (@ JourneyBrown6) November 11, 2020
He wrote about the first time he fell in love with soccer and how it changed his life and how it became less of a game than a lifestyle.
"I finally got a chance to show what I was born to do and hopefully prepare to make my lifelong dream come true," Brown wrote. "Unfortunately, the dream will never materialize as I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is forcing me to medically withdraw from football. The pain of not being able to play the game I love hurts and I can Not." explain how I am feeling right now. "
Brown went on to say that he gave all he had and has no regrets about how his journey ends.
Penn State was without Brown that season, losing to Noah Cain due to injury. Devyn Ford now carries the workload in the running game along with quarterback Sean Clifford. The team has a total of 388 rushing yards and two touchdowns.