CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami cornerback Malek Young’s football career is over.
The Hurricanes announced Sunday that a neck injury Young sustained during last month’s Orange Bowl against Wisconsin will require career-ending surgery to repair.
Young will remain on scholarship for the remainder of his academic career. Miami did not reveal the specifics of his injury.
“After discussions with my family and the UM medical staff we have determined that my football career should come to an end,” Young said in a statement released by the university. “I look forward to getting healthy, working toward my degree and continuing to support my teammates, as I know they will continue to support me.”
Several players and coaches posted public messages of support on social media after learning of the decision.
Young finished his sophomore season with 43 tackles and two interceptions for Miami, which finished 10-3 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division title. Young appeared in all 13 games and was the first player to wear the Hurricanes’ famed “Turnover Chain,” one of college football’s top phenomenon this past season and was presented to Miami defenders who recorded takeaways.
Young was hurt early in the Orange Bowl, though the severity of whatever happened was not apparent at the time. He was on the field as part of Miami’s kick coverage team to open the game and played the first defensive series, recording no stats.
“While we’re disappointed that Malek’s football career is over, his health is our top priority,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “Malek is a terrific young man, one who I’m confident will go on to accomplish great things.”
Young is the second Miami player whose career ended prematurely in recent weeks because of injury. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jamie Gordiner announced earlier this offseason that he is giving up the game because of repeated knee injuries. Gordiner only appeared in one game during his three years on the Hurricanes’ roster.