UCLA’s linebacker corps has taken an incredibly devastating hit, now that we’ve learned that redshirt senior Patrick Larimore has medically retired.
If you’ve forgotten already, Larimore was easily the defensive unit’s best, most consistent player. He led the team in tackles and had an incredible amount of intangibles which led to his naming as a team captain and the team’s defensive MVP. He was relatively high on NFL draft scouts’ radars and the future seemed bright, in terms of his career as a football player.
But Larimore had a good chunk of injuries this offseason. During spring practice, Larimore suffered a concussion that kept him shelved for awhile. And just a few months later, during fall camp, Larimore suffered yet another concussion. Obviously, having two concussions in such a short time span is nothing short of risky and can be life-threatening if the situation isn’t handled correctly.
Larimore will be missed, though, and it leaves the defensive front seven without a true leader. Even worse, the transition to a 3-4 defense could be a hell of a lot more difficult since it requires incredibly talented, playmaking-type linebackers to anchor it.
Even further, though, Larimore was just a lovable dude who carried himself out in the classiest manner. If you could pick one UCLA player to tab as the team’s sole leader, you’d undoubtedly have to choose Larimore.
This sucks, and pretty hard, but perhaps there’s a little bit of a silver lining, from Inside UCLA’s facebook page:
Great job by @MelendezSports on breaking the Patrick Larimore story. Huge loss, but if I were UCLA I would hire him as defensive GA in a flash. Great, great kid.
That’d be great, and a fitting continuation of Larimore’s career at UCLA. We’re hoping — praying, even — that this happens.
The best of luck to you, Patrick Larimore.