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CU Buffs’ OL Jake Moretti to medically retire

Former four-star recruit has dealt with injuries for past three years

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Jake Moretti has always had the desire to be a dominant player on the football field.

His body just isn’t cooperating.

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado offensive lineman Jake Moretti has dealt with injuries for the past three years and has decided to medically retire.

The Colorado sophomore offensive lineman and former four-star recruit from Pomona High School in Arvada has decided to medically retire after a series of injuries have hampered him over the past three years.

“I can’t say enough good things about this (CU) program, from coaches to the trainers, doctors, and ADs,” Moretti said in a message to Buffzone. “They made sure I had everything possible to recover. Unfortunately it just didn’t work out and I needed to make sure I was able to have normal function with my leg in the future.”

At 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, Moretti was one of the top offensive line recruits in the country for the 2017 class. He was originally committed to Ohio State, but suffered a devastating knee injury during a Buckeyes camp in the summer of 2016. The injury caused Moretti to miss his senior season at Pomona, and he eventually decided to sign with CU.

Moretti enrolled early, in January of 2017, and has spent the past 30 months trying to get healthy.

When he was injured at the Ohio State camp, Moretti tore his ACL, dislocated his knee and stretched his peroneal nerve. The nerve issue proved to be the more troubling part of the injury. The damage caused Moretti to deal with “drop foot,” where he had difficulty lifting the front part of his foot at times, needing a brace to hold it in proper position.

“Sometimes I wish it was just the ACL,” Moretti told Buffzone last August when he returned to practice – on a limited basis – for the first time since the original injury.

Moretti made his collegiate debut in the 2018 season opener against Colorado State, playing eight snaps. It was his first game since his junior season at Pomona in 2015. In all, Moretti played in seven games last year, but logged just 65 snaps because of the difficulty to stay healthy.

Moretti did not participate in spring practices this year and suffered another setback that required foot surgery.

Several people within the CU program have said that throughout Moretti’s injury troubles, he’s never complained, yet continued to work hard to get on the field. Last year, he won the program’s Tyrone “Tiger” Bussey Award for “inspiration in the face of physical adversity.”

Receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, the Buffs’ co-offensive coordinator during Moretti’s two seasons at CU, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, “In all my years of playing and coaching I’ve never been around an individual that persevered and smiled everyday in the face of adversity like Jake Moretti!! This young man faced obstacles that most athletes will never face and did it with courage!! You will always be a Buff”