Minnesota tight end Jake Paulson will not return to the Golden Gophers in 2021.

Paulson shared that news in an interview with 247Sports’ Minnesota affiliate on Friday morning.

He said COVID-19 slowed down his rehab process following three surgeries that took place after the 2019 season.

“And this year (2020), I was still dealing with injuries all season and by the end of the year couldn’t even play due to injuries,” Paulson told GophersIllustrated’s Ryan Burns. “So I talked to friends, family and Coach Patterson and decided it would be best for me to to not come back.”

Due to an NCAA blanket waiver because of the pandemic, Paulson would have had two remaining years of eligibility. He just wrapped up his redshirt junior season.

Instead, he’s going to graduate in May and call it a career.

Paulson was apart of PJ Fleck’s first recruiting class in 2017. He finishes his career at Minnesota with seven catches for 87 yards and one touchdown.

“I just want to make sure Minnesota fans know that I appreciate them all,” Paulson said in the interview. “We have the best fans in the country and I’m going to miss them a lot. They have made my time playing football here so enjoyable and I want to thank them for that!”