- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nebraska All-American defensive tackle Jared Crick's college football career is over.
The Huskers announced on Wednesday that Crick, a senior, has a torn pectoral muscle that will keep him out for the rest of the season.
Crick was a second-team All-American last year and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 honoree. He has been projected as a first-round NFL pick and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has him ranked him No. 18 overall on his most recent 2012 Big Board.
In a statement released by the school, coach Bo Pelini praised Crick as a team leader and "a young man who has represented this program in a first-class manner throughout his career." He noted Crick had decided to return to Nebraska to finish his senior season and earn his degree, rather than turn pro.
"I feel extremely bad for Jared," Pelini said. "Jared has a bright future in front of him on the field at the professional level. I know he will bounce back from this, and become a stronger player and person."
Crick's numbers were a little down this season, and he missed the Wyoming game after suffering a head injury against Washington. He finished the season with 22 tackles and one sack in five games.
Crick had 9½ sacks in both 2009 and 2010 and ranks eighth on Nebraska's all-time sack list. He also recorded 35 career tackles for loss.
"It is a tough blow for our football team to lose a player of Jared's caliber, but we have players that are capable of stepping up and filling the void," Pelini said.
The 14th-ranked Huskers (5-1) are idle this week and will return to action Oct. 22 at Minnesota.
Brian Bennett covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com.
1dSam Khan Jr.