Heart condition ends football career of Gators incoming freshman Randy Russell

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida freshman defensive back Randy Russell, one of the state’s top recruits, says he has a heart condition that will end his football career.

The Gators confirmed Russell’s situation Thursday, saying their medical staff discovered an abnormality in his cardiac workup that will prohibit him from participating in athletics.

Russell, who grew up in Opa Locka and played at Miami Carol City High, disclosed more information on Twitter. He says he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that can cause cardiac arrest during vigorous physical activity.

Russell says “this is the last thing I expected to hear and I would not wish this on my worst enemy.”

Florida coach Dan Mullen says “as tragic as this is for Randy and his family to hear this news, this discovery is life-saving for him. We will be fully supportive in any way we can for Randy and his family. He will continue to be a part of the Gator football family and we will assist him in his academic pursuits at the University of Florida.”

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