Tennessee has dealt with a rash of medical retirements this offseason, specifically with offensive linemen. Another lineman announced on Wednesday that he’s having to quit his football career, but this player had never even taken a snap for the Vols in his career yet.
True freshman and 2019 signee Melvin McBride announced on Twitter on Wednesday morning that he is retiring from football “due to health problems.” McBride failed to expound upon what those health issues were, but he stated that football “has changed my life” and has blessed him “in ways I could never imagine.”
Today I Officially Announce My Retirement From Football Due To Health Problems. I Would Just Like To Say That Football Has Change My Life And Bless Me In Ways I Could Never Imagine. But Now God Has A New Journey For Me💯💪🏾. #60Forever
— Melvo💸🏈 (@mjmballin) June 12, 2019
McBride announces his retirement before ever playing a down or even participating in a practice with the Vols. He wasn’t an early enrollee with UT, and he just moved in with the large bulk of Tennessee’s 2019 signee class a few weeks ago.
The 6-foot-3, 312-pound lineman played for Whitehaven over in Memphis. He signed with the Vols during the early signing period on December 19th. McBride originally committed to UT on August 22nd of 2018. He held offers from Florida, Arkansas, Florida State, South Carolina, Memphis, and others.
McBride was one of five offensive linemen the Vols signed in the 2019 class. He joined five-star Wanya Morris, five-star Darnell Wright, four-star Jackson Lampley, and three-star Chris Akporoghene as UT’s offensive line signees in the 2019 class. Morris and Akporoghene were early enrollees among the group, and both Wright and Lampley are now on campus.
With McBride’s retirement, the Vols have now seen seven players have to hang up their cleats this offseason. Five of those players have been offensive linemen.
McBride joins Chance Hall, Tanner Antonutti, Devante Brooks, and Eric Crosby as UT offensive linemen to announce their retirements from football due to ongoing health issues this offseason. Linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. and tight end James Brown have also had to call it quits from football this offseason.