Penn State running back Journey Brown announced Wednesday that his playing career is over after he was diagnosed with a heart condition that will force him to "medically retire from the game of football." Brown, a redshirt junior, had not played for the Nittany Lions yet this season to due the issue, which he revealed to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Penn State coach James Franklin said the condition was discovered in September through a routine COVID-19 test but was not related to the coronavirus.

A former three-star prospect, Brown did not play during his redshirt season in 2017 and saw limited action in 2018 before emerging as the team's leading rusher last season with 890 yards and 12 touchdowns on 6.9 yards per carry.

"I can still remember the first time I truly fell in love with the game I've been playing since 4th grade," Brown wrote in his announcement. "Back then it was a game I played for fun, but when I was a sophomore in high school, my life changed, and I fell in love with football, all I could think of was when can I play, how can I get better, what can I do to be a better teammate, and at that moment, football became less of a game for me and more of a lifestyle. That lifestyle put me in position to be blessed to have a chance to play football at Penn State. My first year here was rough at times, but when you love the game of football as much as I do, you put your head down and work through scout team, lion's den and the waiting and watching. I finally had the opportunity to showcase what I was born to do and, hopefully, set myself up to achieve my life-long dream of playing in the NFL. Unfortunately, the dream will never be realized."

Although Brown's playing career is over, coaching could be in his future. Franklin said Wednesday that Brown has been serving as an assistant running backs coach while traveling with the Nittany Lions this season.

"Journey is one of the most popular and respected players on our team," Franklin said. "The entire organization is rallying behind Journey and his family. We need Nittany Nation to do the same as I know we will. Journey has handled this unbelievably well, and I know he'll be extremely successful in whatever he decides to do.