Randy Russell Jr., an early enrollee in Dan Mullen’s first Florida recruiting class, will unfortunately not be able to play football for the Gators.
Randy Russell committed to Florida back in July, after previously being committed to another Power Five program from the Sunshine State: Miami.
He enrolled at Florida for the current semester, but during his physical, doctors discovered that he has a heart condition that will not allow him to play at the college level.
Russell announced the sad news via Twitter:
— 21 (@randy_knows) January 11, 2018
His full note:
“In life, God will throw things at you that don’t quite make sense. At that moment, they may seem unbelievable and even unbearable. It is important to know that everything happens for a reason. It is important to use those roadblocks to motivate you and not discourage you. A week ago, I began my journey as a student athlete at the University of Florida. Today, I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A heart condition that prevents me from continuing with the hopes of playing college football and becoming a professional football player. 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. This is the last thing I expected to hear and I would not wish this upon my worst enemy. To everyone reading this, I encourage you to appreciate the finer things in life. Continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Just when you feel like things can’t get any worst, remember that someone is experiencing worst. Remain grateful and aware of the possibility that everything you’ve been blessed with can be taken away fro you faster than it was given to you. Although it may seem as if things have come to an end, I know that God has greatness in store for me. Had it not been for the support of my mother Keisha, my best friend Rickia, and my extended family, I would not be able to get through this. I will use this obstacle as motivation and motivate those around me. Football has been my everything and no matter what, I intend to be apart of the football program here at the University of Florida. Coach Mullen and Paul Silvestri along with other staff members, have been extremely supportive throughout this ordeal. My love for this school has not changed and my degree will be earned. I had hoped that I would be three and out on my way to the NFL. I now understand that I have to make an adjustment, but my goals, my destiny, and my determination prevails.
-Randy Russell Jr.
Florida associate AD Steve McClain and head coach Dan Mullen have released statements about Russell’s situation. Via SEC Country:
“During the course of the UAA’s incoming pre-participation physical, the Gators’ medical staff discovered an abnormality in Randy Russell’s cardiac workup. Unfortunately, this condition will prohibit him from participating in athletics,” Florida senior associate athletic director Steve McClain said in a statement.
“As tragic as this is for Randy and his family to hear this news, this discovery is life-saving for him,” Mullen said. “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.”
We wish Russell and his family the best as he works through this sad development, and begins his college career.