Florida signee Randy Russell received some unfortunate news Thursday, as the three-star defensive back recruit announced he's been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that will prevent him from ever playing competitive football again.
The condition, according to the American Heart Association, causes heart muscles cells to enlarge and thicken the walls of the ventricles. While specifics of the condition may vary, it does increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest during physical activity in some patients.
"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," athletic director Steve McClain said in a statement.
Gators head coach Dan Mullen issued his own statement, voicing his support for Russell in the wake of his diagnosis.
"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."
Russell signed with the Gators as a three-star recruit out of Carol City High School in Miami, Fla.