Arizona State Sun Devils redshirt senior safety Marcus Ball retired from football due to epileptic seizures in an announcement via his Twitter page on Wednesday afternoon.
Arizona State played without Ball in its 37-31 win over New Mexico State on Thursday night. Ball practiced on Sunday and Tuesday, but was seen wearing street clothes at practice on Wednesday.
Ball noted in his Twitter announcement he retired due to epileptic seizures, and that it had been an ongoing issue since he was diagnosed in the summer of 2014.
This is the third of Arizona State’s 2016 starting defensive backs to leave the Sun Devils since the end of last season and second due to health concerns. Starting cornerback Kareem Orr transferred to Chattanooga on May 30 and safety Armand Perry retired due to several medical issues on May 24.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound safety emerged as a breakout player in his junior season, as he was second on the team and first among defensive backs with 64 total tackles in 2016.
Ball had his strongest defensive performance last season in Arizona State’s 23-20 win over UCLA when he accumulated a career-high 10 unassisted tackles. The Westerville, Ohio native also led the team in tackles in performances against Oregon, Colorado and Washington State in 2016.
At Westerville-South High School, Ball was rated as a three-star athlete by ESPN and passed up offers from Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin to come to Arizona State in the class of 2013.
Not only a safety, Ball spent time with the Sun Devils at the SPUR position as well. In high school, Ball quarterbacked, played defense and ran the ball as he threw for 1,600 yards, gained 500 yards on the ground and intercepted seven passes in his 2011 junior season.
In the midst of his fifth year with the Sun Devils, Ball redshirted his first season in 2013 because of a shoulder injury. He finished his career at ASU with 78 tackles, four tackles for loss and two interceptions.