The first two players ever to commit to Rich Rodriguez at Arizona will not play football again.
Sophomore linebackers Dakota Conwell and C.J. Dozier have retired from football after suffering multiple concussions, Rodriguez told the Star.
Both are expected to stay on scholarship while they finish their degrees.
“They are no longer playing because of concussions,” Rodriguez said after tonight’s practice. “They have had multiple concussions, so at the advice of their doctors, their football career is over.”
Conwell and Dozier were both expected to provide depth at linebacker this season after playing as true freshmen. However, they both had their fall camps cut short because of concussions.
Conwell played in 10 games as a true freshman last season and had 12 total tackles, including three for a loss. He served as the backup to Marquis Flowers at the weak-side linebacker spot. He saw extensive playing time in the team’s final regular season game of the year against ASU and had six tackles—one for a loss.
The Pittsburgh native was rated as a four-star recruit by the Scout.com recruiting service coming out of high school and Rodriguez said during spring drills that he expected Conwell to be a regular contributor as a sophomore and was pleased with his improvement.
Conwell committed to Rodriguez and the Wildcats in mid-January of 2012.
Two days prior, Rodriguez landed his first recruit at Arizona in Dozier.
Dozier, a native of San Diego, was rated as a three-star recruit and graduated early from high school to join the UA as a mid-year player. He originally committed to Arizona State, but opened his recruitment back up after Dennis Erickson was fired. Dozier picked the UA over offers from Colorado, Nebraska and Washington and was expected to be an impact player.
Dozier played in nine games last season and started against Colorado. He had 27 total tackles and one forced fumble.
Read more in tomorrow's Star.