Football player John Plattenburg to retire

The Trojans’ secondary took a hit on Thursday as senior safety John Plattenburg retired from football due to concussion concerns. Plattenburg is coming off a season in which he suffered two concussions: one prior to the start of the campaign and one during USC’s Rose Bowl victory in January.

The Trojans were wrapping up their second practice of the spring when head coach Clay Helton made the announcement.

“Because of medical situations, he’s chosen to just concentrate on academics and go ahead and pull away from football,” Helton said.

Plattenburg arrived at USC in 2014 and started six of USC’s final seven games during his freshman season, splitting three starts at each safety position. He built on that foundation his sophomore year, appearing in all of the Trojans’ games except one due to illness and drawing eight starts. Plattenburg grabbed two interceptions in 2015 and won USC’s Community Service Award.

He suffered his first concussion during 2016 fall camp, however, which forced him out of the Trojans’ first four games of the season. Plattenburg missed another two games working back into the safety rotation and was eventually limited to just six games (no starts) in his junior campaign, suffering another concussion in USC’s season finale against Penn State.

Going into spring practice, Plattenburg was looking to carve out a role in the safety rotation in his final Trojan season.

“Great kid; he’s done so much for us,” Helton said. “He’s a Trojan for life, absolutely love him, but he will finish out and get his degree. He has a special place in our hearts.”