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Former Louisville wide receiver Damian Copeland retires from football

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Former Louisville wide receiver Damian "Honey Mustard" Copeland made the surprising announcement Sunday that he was retiring from football at the age of 25. Days earlier, Copeland had been signed for a second time by the Detroit Lions.

Copeland posted the following message on his instagram page:

Tonight I want the world to know that I am retiring from football. This wasn't an overnight decision and I'm walking away from this game healthy with complete clarity, and a piece of mind. I've made plenty of sacrifices to get where I'm at today and I just want to THANK all my FANS from the bottom of my heart that have supported me from DAY ONE through everything. I'm doing what makes me HAPPY and what's BEST for me and my body in the long run. I'm TRULY BLESSED to have family and friends that support me and my decision and I'm really excited about my endeavors.

I want to thank the entire Detroit Lions Organization for the opportunity and the best of luck this upcoming season. As a kid I always dreamed of making it to the highest level of play in football. And through all the ups and downs in my career I can honestly say that I MADE IT! I rather leave this game than the game leave me.

S/O to my Mom And Pops I LOVE YAL! We're Good Forever! #ForeverBLESSED #7o'clockThatsPrimeTime #7egendary

The leading wide receiver on Louisville's 2013 Sugar Bowl champion team also posted this on Twitter:

Just proving that you don't have to be a future Hall of Famer to decide that you'd rather quit football in the prime of your career than play another snap for the Detroit Lions.

In all seriousness, best of luck to Damian, who is an extremely caring and intelligent person who has represented U of L as well as any athlete in recent memory.