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Michael Hutchings Says Goodbye To Football

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The Senior Linebacker Will Not Be Pursuing a Career in the NFL

Alabama v USC Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

“I have always been real.”

This is how Hutchings begins an essay - penned to USC’s website - detailing the reasons for his decision not to pursue a career as a player in the National Football League - a decision that, as he states, was made about halfway through the season:

“After college football, I knew that my NFL chances were slim to none, so I just played my odds and decided to pursue another profession that motivates me. I would be more of a free agent type, which would put me behind. I just figured I'd get ahead by starting my commercial real estate career in investment sales at 21-years-old instead of waiting until I was 23 or 24.

Once I made that decision, accepting a job offer in the middle of my senior season, it freed me up. I was good. I was relaxed. I had my plan set for after school, and I just played. I was playing with zero pressure. I was just playing football and having fun because I knew it was my last few games playing football.”

As a starter at middle linebacker, he was the Trojan’s third-leading tackler last season (66) and, as he cites in his essay, after he made the decision he felt “zero pressure” which really helped his play on the field - especially in the Rose Bowl when he had a key stop on a third-down that helped set up the eventual game-winning field goal:

“It could not have worked out any better. My final college tackle was 3rd-and-4 in the Rose Bowl, stopping Saquon Barkley in the backfield, and forcing a punt that led to the game-tying drive. To go out as a captain, win the Rose Bowl and just the season we had, it was a dream.”

You can read the rest of his essay here.

Hutchings was a positive influence both on the field and in the locker room. There is no doubt that he will experience success wherever he goes in life.