Out of football due to concussions, Grant Calcaterra plans return as a graduate transfer

Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra, who last year announced that he would retire from football because of concussions, announced Saturday that he is planning to return the sport but will enter the transfer portal.

Calcaterra, who was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018, announced his intentions on social media.

"I am returning to football," Calcaterra said in a statement posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts. "This is something that I have been thinking about since the day I stepped away. I owed myself the time to reflect on the best decision for me. Ultimately, my love and passion for the game, and my desire to accomplish my goals are the reasons for my return.

"However, after conversations with OU, I will be entering the transfer portal. I have so much love and respect for the University of Oklahoma and everything they represent."

Calcaterra went on to thank his coaches, teammates, Oklahoma staff members, friends and fans, saying "I'm a Sooner for life."

Last season, Calcaterra played the first five games but missed the remainder of the season. He announced in November that he would step away from football after suffering a concussion in practice and disclosing in a farewell video that "I've had my fair share of concussions in my career," and that after spending "countless hours visiting with OU medical professionals and specialists around the country, ultimately we came to the conclusion that it'd be best for me to step away from the game."

In 2018, his sophomore season, he caught 26 passes for 396 yards and six touchdowns and led all Big 12 tight ends in receiving yards. Calcaterra graduated from Oklahoma in May, so he will be eligible to play immediately at his new destination as a graduate transfer.

Prior to his junior season in 2019, Calcaterra was considered a potential draft prospect. He was fourth on Mel Kiper Jr.'s list of top non-senior tight ends who would be eligible for the 2020 draft.

Calcaterra ended his return announcement Saturday saying, "It means something different when you've been without the game. By any means necessary, I'm back. And I'm better. #WatchMe"