'Ol Coug goes out on top - but with a break

JARED KARSTETTER

TWO YEARS REMOVED from his playing days at Washington State, wideout Jared Karstetter is getting a Super Bowl ring. Ok, it may not be THE Super Bowl ring, but winning the Italian Super Bowl ain't all bad. With that milestone in the books, Karstetter tells CF.C he will hand up his cleats and go out on top. But for Karstetter, that final win came at a price.

Jared Karstetter was in a joking mood after the Italian Super Bowl win but not all is rainbows and lollipops for the 6-4, 215 pound Spokanite. During Parma's 51-28 victory over Milan, Karstetter suffered a broken arm, one that will require surgery when he returns to the States this Tuesday.

"I left it all on the field, man," Karstetter said. "It was a pretty significant break. The doctors did their best to re-place it, but it was a pretty good break."

Despite the setback, Karstetter finished the game with an interception, a touchdown, a forced fumble and of course, the broken arm.

"I'm going to go out like Ray Lewis," Jared Karstetter laughed. "No better way to go out than to win the last one, right?"

Karstetter quipped that his most recent win may be the first step toward being recognized as one of the greatest who ever played.

"A ring is a ring," he laughed. "I may not be on the same level as Ray, though. We'll see when the Hall of Fame comes calling."

IN RECENT WEEKS, Karstetter announced he has elected to end his football career after this season to continue his pursuit in the dental field. And nothing that happened in the game changed those plans.

Having been accepted into the post-graduate dental school programs at both University of Washington and Creighton, the former Cougar red zone aficionado plans on staying in-state and working his way into the dental field after a few years in school.

"Sometimes, man, you just have to read the writing on the walls," Karstetter said. "For me, it was either NFL or move on. You never want to say never, but I'm looking forward to going to back to school."

The Parma Panthers, Karstetter's Italian team, will be losing quite a bit of production with his departure. Not only did the former Coug receiver have 39 catches for 706 yards and nine touchdowns this season, but surprisingly he also boasted five interceptions and 21 tackles as well on defense.

Truly, he was a player who did it all this season, adding that he coached up the team at times as well.

For Karstetter, his time in Parma, Italy has been a year he'll never forget. He said having the opportunity to play in such a beautiful city and get paid for it has been an incredible experience. He hopes he'll be able to make the trip back over on his own dime in the near future.

"The food over here is just unbelievable," Karstetter said. "In Parma, the Parmesan and prosciutto cheeses are famous and so good, they're known for it. The food is just great. It's just been great over here. The culture, everything… it's all been amazing."

By any standard, Karstetter had a very strong career at Washington State, finishing his career third in school history with 19 touchdown catches and fourth in career receptions (166).

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