MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT)- K-State defensive end Jaylen Pickle is hanging up the cleats.
Pickle, who had one year of eligibility remaining from the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to call his football quits. He announced his retirement on social media Saturday evening.
Pickle spent five seasons with the Wildcats. He cited health as his reason for stepping aside from football.
“My body cannot do this anymore and I am hanging up the cleats,” Pickle said in a note on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone who has ever believed in me.”
“Dear Football, for the past 23 years you’re the only thing that brought me peace in life,” Pickle said on Twitter in a heartfelt farewell to the game.
The post on social media also included a message to Kansas State fans.
“Thank you for the past five years,” Pickle said. “Everything you poured into me and our teams over the years I hope I was able to pour back into you. I hope I made you feel as special as you guys are and as you deserve. There is truly no fans like you guys…”
He also spoke from the heart when writing to the people of his hometown, Cimarron, Kansas.
“I hope every kid that grows up in Cimarron, looks in the trophy cabinet and sees my jersey and pursues every dream they wish for,” Pickle said.
He added he had hopes to be the first from his hometown to play in the NFL.
Pickle played in 31 games for the Wildcats, after redshirting his first year. He tallied 42 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.