He's only a junior in high school, but Cougar Quarterback R.J. Hartmann is already retiring from the game.
Hartmann says, "It was heartbreaking. I mean it's everything I always wanted to do."
The 17-year-old football star is calling it quits this week, following a heavy hit last Friday night.
"I was dizzy and it was hard for me to walk," says Hartmann.
R.J. suffered from a concussion. The second one this season, and the fifth in a year.
Rus Hartmann, R.J.'s dad, says, "It's extremely scary as a parent. There was no question. As easily as he was getting them and often as he's getting them, it just wasn't worth it."
Rus was once an athlete himself. He made the decision to pull the plug on his son's football career.
Rus Hartmann says, "I love him a heck of a lot more than the game and his future is obviously way more important than the game."
Dr. Larry Satkowiak, Children's Hospital Emergency Room Director says, "I don't think there's any argument that football has become more of a contact spot then it was just 10 or 15 years ago."
Dr. Satkowiak has seen a rise in athlete concussions over the past couple of years. He says any head injury is dangerous, but multiple concussions can have serious long term risks, including memory loss and mental health issues.
Dr. Satkowiak says, "We're seeing football players now who have very well documented neurological problems and we're tracing it back to head injuries they've sustained."
The game isn't completely over for R.J. He'll be a student coach on the sideline. And though playing is his passion, he knows his future goes far beyond football.
Hartmann says, "That was my dream but God's choosing a different route for me. I'm not happy but I think it's what's needs to be done to keep me safe."
Clovis High Junior Jacob Gatewood has now taken on the position of starting quarterback.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, sports concussions in the U.S. have reached an epidemic level. Statistics show 47% of high school football players have suffered a concussion. 37% have suffered multiple concussions.