Senior linebacker Danny Spond opened up about his early retirement this week to Notre Dame's official athletic website, detailing hemiplegic migraines in both the spring and in preseason camp that ultimately forced him to give up his football career.
"I would have rather just had my head torn off than have it attached during those moments," Spond said. "I couldn't see. My whole left side of my body was completely numb. I can't open my eyes. My speech gets slurred. When I smile, only half of my face smiles. I lose control of my left arm. I lose control of my left leg. I wouldn't wish any of it on my worst enemy."
Spond has remained with the Irish as a student-coach, and he is set to graduate this spring with a degree in political science.
The Littleton, Colo., native started 11 games last year for the 12-1 Fighting Irish, notching 39 total tackles, including one for a loss, to go with an interception, three break-ups and four passes defended. The 6-foot-2, 248-pound Spond had missed Notre Dame's first two games last season after the left side of his body went numb during a preseason practice in August.