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Arizona football: Justin Holt retires due to concussion issues

The Salpointe defensive lineman is done with football

Justin Holt at a 2016 Arizona fall practice
Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats opened 2017 spring practice on Saturday afternoon, and one name that wasn’t on the roster was former Salpointe HS defensive lineman Justin Holt.

Rich Rodriguez announced after practice that Holt has decided to retire from football for medical reasons, most notably concussions.

“Justin is no longer playing football,” Rodriguez stated. “He’s got a medical that’s going to prevent him from playing. It’s a shame, he’s a great young man, but hopefully he’ll finish his academic career here and move on.”

“It was dealing with concussions,” coach added.

Coming out of Salpointe, Holt was a composite three-star recruit on 247Sports, ranked the 13th-best player in the state of Arizona in the 2016 class. He was part of the Salpointe State Championship team that also featured Cam Denson as the Lancers’ all-around star.

Holt ended up redshirting his freshman season at Arizona and will have wrapped up his college career without having played a down for the Wildcats.

Arizona’s top defensive line at the first practice was made up of Justin Belknap, Luca Bruno, and Finton Connolly. Parker Zellers did not participate.