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UMass Breneman Football

After what turned out to be a brief but much-needed sabbatical from football, Adam Breneman has his life in order. He is on track to complete an MBA at the University of Massachusetts, playing on the same team as his best friend and heading into his last college season as one of the best tight ends in the country.

Associated Press file

Adam Breneman, who starred at Cedar Cliff for four seasons in the 2010s before going on to play collegiately at Penn State and then Massachusetts, announced his retirement from football Tuesday afternoon.

Breneman had been training for the NFL draft since January, but recurring knee problems have forced a second retirement for the two-time All-American tight end. He was projected to be drafted in the middle or late rounds.

“It hurts me to share that at just 22 years old, I am officially retiring from the game of football,” he said in a post on “Football has given me so much in my life and I am very proud of all my accomplishments both on and off the field.”

Breneman was a five-star recruit with the Colts, then went on to play in Happy Valley. But he sat out most of the next two seasons with knee damage that was discovered in 2014.

He said rehab did little, and he announced his retirement for the first time in January, 2016.

He worked as the campaign manager for Republican Mike Regan during the 2016 state senate election, but noticed renewed health in his knee. And a few months later he transferred to UMass as a graduate transfer. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder excelled once again there with former Colts teammate and quarterback Andrew Ford, who originally signed as a top recruit with Virginia Tech.

But the pain eventually came back, Breneman said in his post, titled “Thank you, football.” He has never discussed the specifics of his injury or the surgery and treatments he has undergone.

“Letting go of my dream to play in the NFL has taken some time to accept, but I have come to terms with the reality that God has a different plan for me,” he said. “For as much as football has challenged me emotionally and physically, I would not change a single thing. My career was not perfect and certainly not how I imagined it back when I was a 5-star recruit, but it was my reality.”

He did not say what he will do next. He had tentatively accepted Regan’s chief of staff offer before heading to UMass.

Ford is entering his redshirt-senior season with the Minutemen, while Breneman’s younger brother, Grant, just finished his freshman season at Colgate as the starting QB.

Email Jake Adams at or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520


Sports Editor

Sports editor at The Sentinel.

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