Recent Carol City grad Randy Russell's career at UF ends due to heart condition

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Recent Carol City grad Randy Russell's career at UF ends due to heart condition

Randy Russell was just getting his college football career started with the Florida Gators when he found out it was over.

The Miami Carol City three-star safety, who enrolled a semester early at UF and started spring classes this week, had “an abnormality in [his] cardiac workup” discovered in a pre-participation physical, a statement from Florida senior associate athletic director Steve McClain announced on Thursday.

Russell posted on Twitter that he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. According to American Heart Association, it is a condition that is “a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people, including young athletes.”

“It is extremely hard to believe that after going through the process of early graduation, and consistently physically preparing myself for the next level, today, that all comes to an end,” Russell tweeted. “Although it may seem as if things have come to an end, I know that God has greatness in store for me.”

Carol City coach Benedick Hyppolite expressed a similar sentiment of optimism for Russell’s future to the Sun-Sentinel.

“I know he will be a great success story,” Hyppolite said “There’s no doubt in my mind, years down the line, we will be looking at a fine young man, a great leader, a great citizen, a great man of God and a great father — just understanding what he meant to the Carol City community, what he meant to this program, what he meant for every young child chasing a dream such as the one that he did.”

Hyppolite said there were “never” any signs that Russell could have such a condition while he played for Carol City.

“[He] just was a warrior, would never give up, would never slow down, just throw his body around, always had the motivation to go a step further, always wanted to put forth his best effort, always was upbeat and motivated even after a loss,” Hyppolite said.

It appears UF will honor Russell’s scholarship based on new Gators coach Dan Mullen’s statement released Thursday.

“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,” Mullen said. “As tragic as this is for Randy and his family to hear this news, this discovery is life-saving for him.”

Last month, Florida receiver James Robinson was also informed that he would have to give up football due to a heart condition.

Russell, at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, was rated the nation’s 28th-best safety in the Class of 2018, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

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