MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – University of Minnesota football player Nick Connelly had to quit the game he loved after suffering concussions last season.

Connelly’s health took a turn for the worse in back in June, as we was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma. It’s a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His father posted on Twitter Thursday morning that Connelly died of the cancer Wednesday night. He was 22 years old.

Connelly saw action in five games last season as a redshirt sophomore, but had to retire from football due to concussions. His last game in a Gophers uniform was against Purdue, where he had a concussion.

Connelly was a standout football player at Red Wing High School before staying home to play for the Gophers.

The Gophers travel to Maryland Saturday to open the Big Ten season, and have plans to honor Connelly.

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