Brian Wagner, nation's returning leader in tackles, quits football

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Brian Wagner #34 of the Akron Zips is unable to stop Jake Stoneburner #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes as he dives into the end zone to score during the second quarter on September 3, 2011 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

As an Akron Zips fan (and, disgustingly, a season ticket holder), linebacker Brian Wagner was the constant on one of the nation's worst teams.

So when he decided to transfer to Arizona after graduating from Akron following his junior season of football, you couldn't help but be happy for him. Akron has beaten one FBS team the past two seasons. That was Buffalo in 2010 in front of 5,216 (which may be an exaggerated figure). But over the past three seasons of bad football, Wagner stood out.

Although not especially athletic or big, he knew how to get to the football make a tackle. Wagner was second only to Luke Kuechly in tackles per game last season with 13.36 a contest and the nation's returning leader in tackles.

But now his tackling days are done. Wagner has decided to quit football, the Tuscon Citizen reports.

"I don't have love for the game anymore," Wagner told reporter Anthony Gimino.

Had he continued his football career, Wagner would have likely been a late-round depth choice. Despite his stat-stuffing ability, the ceiling isn't particularly high on 6-foot, 230-pound linerbackers with average athleticism.

Wagner, should be fine, however. He was in grad school at Arizona studying biostatistics.

Read the full Tuscon Citizen story here.

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