Northwestern senior defensive tackle Sean McEvilly is retiring from football due to chronic orthopedic issues.

The defensive lineman had dealt with injuries over the past two years, but was awarded a sixth season of eligibility last October after being ruled out for the entire 2014-15 season.

“This has been an extremely difficult conclusion for Sean to reach, and it is the best one for him right now and for the long-term,” said head coach Pat Fitzgerald in a Northwestern Press Release. “He’s been an outstanding leader and mentor for his teammates whether on or off the field the last several years, and will continue to be a big part of this team. It’s been a privilege watching him develop as a young man, he has a tremendously bright future ahead of him.”

McEvilly appeared in 19 career games from 2011-13, starting 13, and registered 29 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. He was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a member of the Wildcats Leadership Council during his career.