Andrew Luck entered Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday night looking very different from the man who starred in the 2012-18 Colts.
Before the national college football championship game between Alabama and Georgia, Luck made a surprise appearance on ESPN’s “College GameDay.” Luck, lean and mustachioed, standing inside the venue for the first time since his striking retreat from the NFL after just six seasons, was honored as one of the members of the College Football Hall of Fame class of 2022.
Look who’s here at Lucas Oil.
Previous #Falts quarterback Andrew Luck in the building watching TV and hanging out with his friend, Colts center and Alabama alumnus Ryan Kelly.
First time I’ve seen you here since you left this field to announce your retirement.#National Championship pic.twitter.com/BKd8TfQitx
– Taylor Tannebaum (@TaylorTannebaum) January 11, 2022
“[It’s an] incredible honor, I’m so happy to share it with Stanford, “Luck told ESPN’s Joe Tessitore.” It meant a lot to me while I was there and ever since. Great coaches, especially the players and teammates: I believe that football is the ultimate expression of the team and the team sport. Teammates give you a lot, a lot. “
Luck was a Heisman Trophy runner-up in back-to-back seasons at Stanford (2010-11), finishing behind Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, the latter of whom currently serves as ESPN’s college football analyst and was alongside Luck during the pre-match interview.
After the trio discussed the challenges of playing on such a big stage and offered advice to starting quarterbacks, Griffin asked Luck the question that must have been on the minds of many Colts fans: “We haven’t seen you. seen. What have you been doing? ” doing, man? “
“Full-time dad duty, and it’s been a complete joy,” Luck said.
While there has been outside speculation in recent years about Luck’s possible return to the NFL (Colts owner Jim Irsay said last year that the franchise would “love” to have him back), it doesn’t seem like the 32-year-old player regrets nothing. about your decision. Luck walked away from soccer before the 2019 season after dealing with various injuries that left him on a cycle of “injury, pain, rehab.”
“I felt trapped in that. The only way out I see is to stop playing soccer,” Luck said. “It took away the joy of this game. I have been caught up in this process. I have not been able to live the life that I want to live. And after 2016, when I played with pain and really couldn’t practice, I promised myself that I would never play again. take that road, I find myself in a similar situation.
“The only way forward for me is to withdraw from football and this cycle that I have been in. I promised myself that if I ever did it again, I would choose myself in this sense.”
Now, more than three years after his last NFL game, and several pounds less than his 240 game weight, Luck seems more than happy to run errands instead of running away from defensive ends.
You can watch Luck’s full “College GameDay” segment below.