'It's been a great ride': Former Husker, Omaha North grad Niles Paul retires from NFL

Niles Paul, the Omaha North grad and former Husker, announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday after eight professional seasons.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2011, Paul finished his NFL career with 954 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. He played for two different franchises — seven seasons with the Washington Redskins and one with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He most recently spent time in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers but was cut over the weekend. Paul cited the physical toll on his body — he suffered a season-ending injury last year — in deciding to retire from football.

"I was quickly reminded how taxing this game can be after only spending a week in camp," Paul wrote in a post shared to social media. "Now it's time to start listening to my body. There is no doubt in my mind that I'm still able to compete and make a 53-man roster somewhere, but I'm not sure my body can handle it anymore."

Paul was an All-Big 12 wide receiver and punt returner at Nebraska. He finished his Husker career in 2010 with 103 catches for 1,532 yards and five touchdowns. He also had three return touchdowns during his college career.

He carved out a role in the NFL as a tight end and even started games as a fullback.

He wrote Tuesday about earning respect from his peers. He was voted by teammates in 2016 as Washington's recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which honors off-the-field leadership and sportsmanship.

"It's been a great ride that has allowed me to have an impact in the community and do things that I never thought would be possible," Paul wrote. "Although my NFL journey has come to an end, life must go on. I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me."

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