Chris Petersen’s task of restocking Washington’s offensive line just became a little harder. Erik Kohler told the Seattle Times Thursday that he was retiring because of numerous injuries. He spent parts of the last four seasons (2010-13) at guard and tackle.
“My body just couldn’t do it anymore,” said the redshirt junior.
Kohler is a senior academically, which means he’ll finish the school year on scholarship before graduating. He won’t count against the school’s 85-man scholarship limit in 2014.
“My body is definitely happier (now),” he told the Times. “But I’ve been playing football since my freshman year in high school, and I’ve been an athlete all my life. There isn’t really anything that can prepare you for this.”
In 2013, Kohler (Oaks Christian High, CA.) started two games at left guard — against California and Arizona State — and filled in at the same spot against Oregon after Dexter Charles was hurt. In 2012, Kohler played the season opener at right guard, moved to right tackle against LSU, but missed the remainder of the year after dislocating his knee. That earned him a redshirt, but he never regained full health.
While rehabbing last offseason, Kohler broke a bone in his foot, which along with a lingering shoulder problem, hampered his comeback try. Kohler made his final appearance, Nov. 15, 2013, against UCLA.
At Oaks Christian, Kohler starred alongside former UW QB Nick Montana before both signed with UW in 2010. As a freshman, Kohler appeared in 11 of 13 thirteen games, starting five. As a sophomore in 2011, he started 13 games at right tackle. Kohler made 20 consecutive starts before injuries started to pile up.
In 2012, offensive lineman Colin Porter (Bothell High School), a member of Kohler’s 2010 class, had to retire because of arthritis in both shoulders.