Monday, September 15, 2014

Former UConn QB Cochran ready for next stage of life

Today was a chance for Casey Cochran to meet with the media for the first time since he made the decision to stop playing football as a result of suffering multiple concussions.

Ever the thoughtful person, Cochran wanted to give an opening statement before taking questions fro the assembled media members.

"Talking to my parents, talking to the medical staff and everyone there was a consensus this is the decision that needs to be made.

"It is tough and it will be tough for a while but it makes it a lot easier that I played the way I did and I left everything on the field and I played for my teammates so I wouldn't have any regrets.

"There were times in came or times in the spring when I would sit back and think 'this is awesome, I am a D-I football player. I am having fun, playing a sport and going to college for free.' Having those thoughts, taking a step back and appreciating what I had made this decision easier because I didn't have to sit there and think 'well maybe if I had done this it would have been easier.' I play a certain way, went about thinks a certain way. All my support staff has been unbelievable. My parents, my family and friends, people I haven't even talked to for years have reached out to me. The staff has been unbelievable with me. I appreciate the job they do for me and will continue to do with me, the opportunities they have given to me."

Cochran's last pass was an incompletion on fourth down in the fourth quarter of the season-opening loss to BYU in which he took a hit. After getting a couple days off he knew something wasn't right when the team reported to practice on the Tuesday before the Stony Brook game.

"I came to them. I've had (concussions) before," Cochran said. "We didn't have any practices over the weekend and when it came to practice over the weekend and I could tell things were off, things weren't getting any better and I thought I should step up and say something.

"It's my life, my livelihood and it has to be my decision to healthy and happy for the rest of my life.

"There is a lot to miss. A few things that stand out to me and just the sweat, tears and everything that goes into it, not even on the field but in the offseason, the memories that you make with the teammates. I am still here with them and I will always have the memories from the past and I am going to make more memories now. I have made bonds with players on the team that are stronger than any I have ever made in life and I am going to be in touch with those guys for the rest of my life. I made great friends, I made great connections and I made unbelievable coaches.

I started New Britain PAL for my first season of football, been up to East Hartford, New London and Masuk. I have had an unbelievable support from not only coaches, teachers, parents and friends. This whole state has shown so much love and support for me, it is unbelievable. That is why I wanted to stay in state, that is why I wanted to come to UConn is to have that love and support."

Cochran is set to graduate in just three years and is looking to head to grad school after graduating in the spring. A communications major, Cochran is still deciding whether he wants to follow in the footsteps of her father Jack (a legendary former high school coach) and become a coach or perhaps become a broadcast.


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