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Originally published Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 8:33 PM

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Colin Porter says to keep playing would only worsen already damaged shoulders

Colin Porter, a starting guard for the Washington football team the last two seasons, knew the nagging pain in his shoulders was only getting...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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I know the Porter family and have met Colin several times. Great kid and they are a... MORE
Hate to see this happen. It's situations like this though that show the value of a... MORE
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Colin Porter, a starting guard for the Washington football team the last two seasons, knew the nagging pain in his shoulders was only getting worse. In the Arizona game last year, his left shoulder popped out five times.

But the Bothell High grad figured that offseason surgery would fix the problem.

Instead, surgery on each shoulder in recent months revealed degenerative arthritis and a recommendation from his doctor that Porter give up football. This week, Porter — who would have been a junior next season — made the decision to stop playing.

Porter said he first began having shoulder problems in the ninth grade, but never had a surgery until January.

"I was always able to play with them and able to play with the pain," he said Wednesday. "But it got to a point this year that I needed to get them done, and I didn't know it would be that bad. Thought it would just be a little repaired labrum on each shoulder. But it turned out to be a lot, lot worse.

"... I'm 20 years old with these problems and I've got a lot of life ahead of me and with these problems already, it could be a hard road ahead of me with my shoulders as is, and if I kept playing it would be even worse."

Porter's departure is a significant blow for the Huskies as he was expected to help anchor the line and be one of four projected returning starters. Instead, UW has been hard hit up front with Porter gone and fellow starting guard Colin Tanigawa recovering from a knee injury suffered against Oregon State with no return date set.

Porter will stay in school on a medical scholarship and finish a degree in political science and international security.

While some talked of Porter having an NFL future, he said that was never a specific goal and that he had always hoped to pursue a career in the military or intelligence. He said that's where he will now turn his focus instead of looking back on what might have been.

"I consider myself lucky to even get the chance to play Division I football, let alone be able to start and be a contributor and a contributor to team success," he said. "Not everyone gets two years, or even gets any chance to do that. So I consider myself lucky. My career was stopped short of the four years it would have been, but not everyone gets the chance that I got, and I'm thankful for that."

The UW Spring Game is April 28 at 1 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @bcondotta


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