Before the 2015 season, Syracuse Orange defensive end Luke Arciniega was granted two more years of eligibility following lost time to a Lower Body Injury as well as concussion issues that derailed his stint at Nevada. Following another year riddled with injuries, Arciniega took to Instagram on Sunday to say that he would forgo that final year of eligibility and end his college football career.
"Last time stepping on a football field as a player. Time (flies), been playing this game since I was 7. Couldn't be more proud to end my career with these coaches and my brothers here one last time in the Dome. #BleedOrange #ForeverOrange"
Luke didn't provide any specifics but there's speculation that multiple concussions may have been the factor, or at least an important one. He took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Parris Bennett during the Florida State game and did not play in any of Syracuse's final three games of the season.
As Stephen Bailey denotes, SU has officially-disqualified four players for concussions in the last 25 months. We don't know if Arciniega was en route to being number five, but regardless, the injuries he's suffered over his entire career have certainly taken a toll.
Luke's departure leaves an already-muddled defensive end situation that much more muddled. Donnie Simmons is out of eligibility and it's probable that Ron Thompson will forgo his final year to test the NFL waters. Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey remain suspended-indefiintly for violating school drug policies. Jake Pickard and Kenny Carter will be in the lineup and they may be joined by two incoming defensive ends (assuming they stay with SU) but expect to see a work-in-progress on the defensive line by the time spring rolls around.
Fare thee well, Luke. I never did figure out how to spell your last name correctly the first time ("Aricinega"), but otherwise it was a pleasure.