After just three NFL seasons, Khari Willis is walking away from the sport.
The Colts safety announced his retirement on Wednesday via Instagram.
“I’d first like to thank the Indianapolis Colts organization for granting me the opportunity to compete in the National Football League the past three years,” Willis wrote in a statement. “I’ve built lifelong relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and support staff that have impacted me greatly. The lessons that I’ve learned in this phase of my life will be valuable for me in my next chapter.
“With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank all of my family, friends and those who have supported me on this journey thus far and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose. Thank you all for your support over the years.”
The Colts accepted Willis’ retirement and expressed gratitude for his contributions.
“We’re grateful and appreciative of Khari’s contributions to the Colts both on and off the field over the last three seasons,” Colts coach Frank Reich said in a statement. “Khari’s character, leadership, and professionalism will be missed in our locker room as will his play on Sundays. I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him.”
Willis arrived in Indianapolis via a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State in 2019, appearing in 14 games (nine starts) in his first season. He started all 14 games in which he played in 2020, recording two interceptions, six passes defensed and 85 tackles before rounding out his brief career with another 11 games (10 starts), two more interceptions and 63 tackles in 2021. 2020 stands as his best professional season according to Pro Football Focus, which gave him a defensive grade of 70.5.
Instead of continuing his on-field pursuits, Willis will turn toward making an even greater impact powered by his faith off the gridiron.