On Saturday afternoon, reports surfaced that Miami Hurricanes CB Malek Young would be forced to retire after sustaining a career-ending injury in the Orange Bowl vs Wisconsin.
This was first reported by Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com, and also subsequently mentioned by Austin Pfenninger, a former walk-on receiver for the Canes.
So sad to see Malek Young’s career get cut short, praying for you— Austin Pfenninger (@apfenny3) January 21, 2018
Young himself offered this tweet, which while not official confirmation, pointed to the news being true.
God has s better plan pic.twitter.com/KCQLRX6fPp— Humble Child (@MalekYoung) January 21, 2018
Miami Athletics confirmed this report, with the following release regarding Young’s upcoming career-ending surgery.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami announced Sunday that cornerback Malek Young will undergo career-ending surgery for a neck injury he sustained during the Hurricanes’ game against Wisconsin in the Capital One Orange Bowl.
“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.”
The surgery will be performed by the University of Miami medical team. Young, a sophomore from Ft. Lauderdale, played in 13 games for the Hurricanes this past season, recording 43 tackles and two interceptions.
“While we’re disappointed that Malek’s football career is over, his health is our top priority,” head coach Mark 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.”
Now confirmed, this is a big blow to Miami’s secondary. Young was a talented player who started several games in the past, and was in line for a huge, probably starting role, in 2018.
A 3-star recruit out of Coconut Creek (FL) HS, Young was a U.S. Army All-American in 2016. A fast and tenacious player, Young earned his way into the rotation in 2016, playing in 7 games, before playing in 12 of 13 games in 2017.
For his career, Young had 65 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and 3 INTs over the course of 2 seasons for the Canes. Young had a team-leading 8 PBUs in 2017, as well.
Obviously, this is tough news and a big blow for both player and team. We are praying for Malek Young, and wish him a healthy recovery and fulfilling life, even if he is no longer able to play the game of football.