Greenville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - East Carolina linebacker Jeremy Grove has decided to end his collegiate career after three seasons due to lingering medical issues.

"I am thankful for the opportunity East Carolina University and Coach (Ruffin) McNeill gave me," Grove said in a statement issued Friday. "This was a difficult decision, but after evaluating my neck at the end of the season, I feel it is better for my health and future to stop playing football. I will always cherish the memories I have of being a Pirate. The relationships I made and the memories I have will last a lifetime.

"This has been an amazing experience that has taught me a lot about life and my character. I want to thank my family, the coaching staff, athletic training staff and everyone who has supported me throughout my football career. If I could do it all over again I wouldn't change one thing about my journey. GO PIRATES!"

Grove, who was entering his senior season, has been slowed by nagging injuries in both shoulders, along with recurring neck pain and nerve irritation which limited his effectiveness on the field. Last season, Grove appeared in only nine games and started just three, totaling 41 tackles and one interception.

"Jeremy played the game the way it's supposed to be played -- with pride, toughness and a great amount of unselfishness," ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill said. "We will all miss his leadership and spirit, but I respect the decision he made for a much bigger game and purpose. He's a Pirate and always will be."

Grove departs the program having racked up 246 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception in 33 contests.