College Miami Hurricanes

Malek Young To Have Career-Ending Surgery

There’s no such thing as a good injury, but some are much worse than others.

The University of Miami announced officially Sunday afternoon that sophomore cornerback Malek Young must undergo what will be career-ending neck surgery stemming from an injury he sustained in Miami’s loss in the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl.

Young, a former three-star recruit out of Coconut Creek High, released a statement Sunday.

“After discussions with my family and the UM medical staff we have determined that my football career should come to an end,” Young said. “I look forward to getting healthy, working towards my degree and continuing to support my teammates, as I know they will continue to support me.”

Young’s surgery will be performed by the University of Miami medical team.

In extreme injury cases like Young’s – or like former Plantation High and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who sustained a substantial spinal injury during an NFL game this season – the main concern is always the players’ quality of life beyond football.

Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt confirmed in the school’s release that the university will continue to honor Young’s scholarship.

“While we’re disappointed that Malek’s football career is over, his health is our top priority,” Richt said. “Malek is a terrific young man, one who I’m confident will go on to accomplish great things. He will remain on full scholarship and we will support him every step of the way.”

The actual football aspect of Young’s injury is significant for the Hurricanes, though.

About to enter his junior season, Young would’ve been one of the retuning defensive players that Miami would’ve relied upon to make an impact in 2018. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back played in all 13 games for the Hurricanes this past season – recording 43 total tackles and two interceptions – as a part of a defensive back rotation with Trajan Bandy, Dee Delaney and Michael Jackson.

Young’s knack for making big plays – evident by the “five or six” interceptions he had during the 2017 spring practice session – will be missed in UM’s secondary.

J.T. Wilcox
J.T. Wilcox is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked in South Florida for more than a decade. He authors "The Bald Predictions" blog and "The Baldcast" podcast.

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