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Notre Dame Football: After Six Concussions, Former Irish Standout David Bruton Retires from NFL

Bruton played eight seasons; known for his charitable works as much as his on-field play

Notre Dame v UCLA Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

David Bruton, a former safety with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, told ESPN today that he will retire from the NFL after eight seasons.

“I’m burnt-out, definitely worry about my health," Bruton, 30, told the network. “Another season was cut short by a concussion [in 2016] -- that’s six. I’m a guy who likes to use his brain. Especially back in school, I need as many brain cells as possible with all these science classes. It came down to health, and I’ve definitely had my time in the league. I’m ready to move on."

Bruton played almost the entirety of his career with Denver Broncos. That team will also factor into his post-NFL life. Burton is currently pursuing a degree at The University of Colorado at Denver so that he can become a physical therapist, he told ESPN.

Bruton says he has interned at Next Level Sports Performance, Golden, Colo. and intends to assist the Broncos’ training staff during summer camp.

David Bruton attacks a punt returner during the Nov. 22, 2008 game against the Syracuse Orange.
@andrewwinn / Flickr

Ben Swanson, the managing editor for the Broncos’ official website, wrote this morning that Bruton “made his name on the Broncos as a key secondary reserve and as an essential special-teams player from 2009 to 2015.”

“But it wasn't just Bruton's role on the field that made him a special part of the Broncos,” wrote Swanson. “His endeavors in the community were some of the most impactful of any Bronco in recent history.”

The former Notre Dame standout established Bruton’s Books, a charitable organization committed to improving literacy among children living in low-income communities in the greater Denver area.

Bruton was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015 and was his teammates’ top choice for the NFL Players Association’s 2015 Byron “Whizzer” White Award. Both are honors given to an NFL player who is a force for positive change within their communities.

Bruton, who captained the Irish during his senior season, was also a three-time captain for the Broncos. He played 48 games for the Irish as a safety and special teams gunner, recording 213 tackles and snagging seven interceptions. He was a fourth round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.