Nik Abele retires from football

UCLA freshman left tackle Nik Abele is retiring from football competition because of medical issues related to his neck, coach Rick Neuheisel announced Friday.

Abele will remain on scholarship but will not count against the team's limit.

"Nik is devastated that he can no longer play football, but his long-term future is more important," Neuheisel said. "Nik is a great young man and we want him to remain involved with our program, both on and off the field, and continue to go to school to earn his degree."

Ebele, a 6-foot-7, 276-pounder, was a three-year varsity letterman at Irvine High School. He redshirted during the 2009 season and he was the co-winner on offense for outstanding scout team play.