(WHTM) – Former Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib, who made history as the first openly gay NFL player, has announced his retirement.
Nassib announced his retirement on Instagram, calling it a “bittersweet moment.”
“It really feels like just yesterday starting out as a walk-on at Penn State,” said Nassib. “Football has given me more than I ever could have imagined. I can truly hang up my helmet for the last time knowing I gave it everything I had.”
Nassib thanked Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin, among several others, for coaching up a lanky, know-it-all, try-hard guy.”
After playing sparingly for two years at Penn State, Nassib burst onto the scene with an NCAA-best 15.5 sacks during the 2015 season.
Nassib was drafted 65th overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and played two years with the Browns. His career in Cleveland included a breakout performance on Hard Knocks as he gave teammates financial advice.
His career included two stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two years with the Las Vegas Raiders. In 99 regular season NFL games Nassib had 25.5 sacks, 187 tackles, and four forced fumbles.
In 2021 the West Chester native came out in a video posted to Instagram where he pledged $100,000 to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.
Nassib says the next chapter of his life will be dedicated to his company Rayze, “a mobile platform that uses positive social media to simplify the way we give back.”
He says he’s “looking forward to working alongside the NFL on (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and exciting philanthropic efforts in the future.”
Nassib says this will be the first time he’s attended a Penn State football game since leaving in 2015.