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First Miami player to don turnover chain has career-ending injury

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Malek Young, who gained fame at the University of Miami for beginning the “turnover chain” celebration for the Hurricanes’ defense, is officially hanging up his cleats because of injury.

Young sustained a “neck/vertebrae” injury, the Miami Herald reported Sunday. The university announced Sunday that Young is set to undergo surgery on his neck that will end his football career.

Young was injured in the first quarter of the Orange Bowl Dec. 30 against Wisconsin. He left the field to go to the locker room and never returned.

Young, who has his name set as “Humble Child” on Twitter, tweeted Saturday that the injury was “God’s plan.”

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“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 school. “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 teammates poured out support for him on Twitter, most of them holding to the religious theme.

https://twitter.com/SleeperAthletes/status/954909617083047936

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Young was a classic undersized defensive back, making up in speed and agility what he lacked in the pure size to contend with receivers downfield. As a true freshman, he played in 12 games and started three.

This season, he played in all 13 games and started 10. He also had two interceptions.

One of those interceptions came in the season-opening game against Bethune-Cookman, and he became the first player to have the “Turnover Chain” bestowed on him. The chain was the creation of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who wanted a way to reward his players for intercepting a pass or recovering a fumble.

Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz took to Twitter as well, calling Young “a great warrior and a true Cane.”

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And Young’s high school coach, Kareem Reid, said “Sick to my stomach for you but the man up top doesn’t make mistakes. Thank you for allowing me to coach you & believing in the vision. You’re a special kid & will do great things. Always here for you if you need me. Love you kid!”

Miami will find itself depleted at defensive back heading into next season, with only three players returning at that position from this season’s Orange Bowl team.

For Young, he now has a life after football to consider, perhaps sooner than anyone ever thought it would come.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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