The Center for Disease Control says that up to 3.8 million people suffer a concussion each year, and that most of those concussions are suffered while playing football.
Devin Washington, a University of South Carolina defensive end says that after taking five months to recover from a concussion, he knows just how serious they can be.
"Headaches got worse and every movement I would make I would get dizzy, nauseous and just you know sensitive to lights." says Washington.
Devin was not able to play his entire freshman year. Susan Yeargin, a professor in the School of Athletic Training, explains there is no definite time of a recovery from a concussion.
"Most of the time it really is a matter of giving the person time to rest cognitively until symptoms resolve and that can be very different in terms of how many days go by for different people." says Yeargin.
Most football players assumed that getting a headache was apart of the job and tend to ignore signs of a concussion. But, according to head football trainer Clint Haggard, players sign a sheet each season that requires them to report certain symptoms.
"Guys thought they had to play through a concussion. Getting a headache was apart of football but through education they know that there are various things they need to tell us about that we cant always see." says Haggard.
Devin was most sensitive to light and could not even attend games on Saturdays due to stadium lights. He would go through a series of tests before getting cleared to go back to physical activity.
And although in five months he was cleared of a concussion, he would only be allowed to do a light workout for several weeks. Devin says that he has learned not to ignore symptoms in the future.
There is still a lot of research to be done regarding the long - term affects, studies do show that it can lead to memory loss and permanent brain damage.
Devin says that the possibility of another concussion is always in the back of his mind, but he won't let that affect his performance on the field.
To find out more information on the development of handling concussions click here.