Graham Schuler always felt an obligation to do something special with his life. Until recently, he didn't really know what that might be.
The redshirt junior center has started the past two years for the Stanford football team, helping the Cardinal win its third Pac-12 Conference title in the last three years and winning the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Schuler, a science, technology and society major, announced Tuesday, through an open addressed to "Stanford Family," on medium.com, that he is leaving the football program to " to chase my dreams and opportunities outside of football."
He becomes the third offensive lineman to leave the Cardinal, following seniors Josh Garnett and Kyle Murphy, who each played four years in the program.
Schuler leaves with the blessing of the coaching staff and his teammates. He's in his final academic year and is preparing for the next phase of his life.
"Stanford wasn't just the best four years of my life ," he wrote, " it prepared me for the best forty years of my life."
Fourteen months ago, during a regular weekly press conference, Schuler said "I want to impact and help people. I feel an obligation to go out and do something special . . . I have no idea what it is."
He's been on a journey since leaving Tennessee following his high school graduation -- he even nearly changed his mind to go to Georgia -- and his involvement with the school "has empowered me beyond my wildest dreams. After wrestling with this decision for the last several weeks, I feel a strong sense of empowerment to do something different."
It's time for the idea, he now knows, to inspire greater things.
Read the full text of his letter here.
In related news, Cardinal wide receiver Michael Rector announced, via Facebook, his intention to remain at Stanford for another year. His full statement can be read here.