Citing injuries, UMass TE Adam Breneman, an NFL prospect, retires from football

  • Adam Breneman (81) of University of Massachusetts runs down the field with the ball during a game between Umass and Tulane Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 in Amherst. The tight end announced the end of his career on Tuesday. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • Adam Breneman, of UMass, runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against Boston College, Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The tight end announced the end of his career on Tuesday. gazette file photo

Published: 3/13/2018 4:49:36 PM

Just weeks before many people expected Adam Breneman to hear his name called in the NFL draft, UMass’ star tight end announced his retirement from football.

Citing the return of the knee injury that caused him to stop playing at Penn State, Breneman announced on Twitter Tuesday that his career was over and wrote a blog post thanking people for their support.

He wrote:

“This past season things began to deteriorate quickly. Even though I enjoyed on-field success, I knew my knee was getting rapidly worse with every game I played. The consistent dream of playing in the NFL was my motivation to push through the pain. I knew what was happening, but I was afraid to accept it and be disappointed yet again. When the season ended, I hoped with some time off and without the physical rigors of the season, my knee would begin to feel better. However, once I started training daily for the NFL draft in January 2018, I realized my situation had not improved. After additional medical evaluations and creative treatments, my doctors and I have come to the realization that there is no solution that will allow me to continue to play football.”

A five-star recruit coming out of high school in Pennsylvania, Breneman began his career at Penn State.  After knee injuries derailed all of the 2014 season and most of 2015, he thought he was done with football. He had his degree and a job managing Mike Regan’s campaign for Pennsylvania state Senate.

After guiding Regan to a primary victory, Breneman’s heart was still into football and his knee felt strong enough to return to the sport he loved.

He’d been close with Austin Whipple when UMass coach Mark Whipple’s son was a walk-on QB in State College and elected to continue his career at UMass.

In two seasons he was the Minutemen’s best offensive player. Breneman, who has degrees from both Penn State and UMass, was an All-American as a senior for the Minutemen and had 64 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns.

Breneman was invited to the Senior Bowl, but suffered a hamstring injury in practice and did not participate. It’s unclear if that injury was related to his knee injury.

Despite his disappointment, Breneman said he was proud of his career.

“Football has given me so much in my life and I am very proud of all my accomplishments both on and off the field,” he wrote in his blog post. “From what we were able to accomplish at Penn State during one of the most trying times in college football history, to becoming a 2-time All-American at UMass, I will always look back and have amazing memories of my career. This game has allowed me to receive a highly regarded undergraduate degree from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business and my M.B.A. from UMass’ Isenberg School of Management. Beyond my education and unforgettable memories with my teammates and coaches, football has given me so many amazing opportunities and ever-lasting relationships for which I will forever be thankful.

He continued, “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. 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. My journey is my story, and I’ve learned to be very proud of it.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy