Heart condition ends career of talented Florida freshman WR James Robinson

By Adam Silverstein
December 8, 2017
Heart condition ends career of talented Florida freshman WR James Robinson
Football

Image Credit: Lakeland Ledger

James Robinson‘s college football career has ended before it even started. The Florida Gators announced Friday that the talented true freshman wide receiver has not been medically cleared to play for Florida going forward.

Robinson, a four-star prospect who was on his way to playing for the Gators as an incoming freshman in 2017, was diagnosed with a heart condition at the start of the season and never suited up. He left Gainesville, Florida, for extensive medical testing, but no update was provided on his health or status with the program.

On Friday, after Robinson himself tweeted about his future, Florida released the following statement.

“After a thorough evaluation by doctors from across the country and our medical staff, it has been determined that James Robinson will not be medically cleared to play football at the University of Florida,” the statement began. “The University Athletic Association has offered their support to James and his family during this very difficult time.”

A couple hours earlier, Robinson shared the following on Twitter: “Hurts knowing I can’t play football again,” followed by a string of sad emojis.

Rated 115th nationally coming out of Lakeland, Robinson was a coup as a last-minute member of the Gators’ 2017 class. Behavioral and academic issues made qualifying Robinson a difficulty, and then-head coach Jim McElwain initially set out to find Robinson a spot at another university when it became clear he would not be a qualifier. At the same time, McElwain fought with UF admissions to give Robinson an opportunity to enroll and join the program. The head football coach eventually won, and Robinson was able to enroll.

Once out on the practice field, Robinson drew rave reviews as a player, and it was apparent he would get an opportunity to see action in 2017. However, Robinson was one of two players caught in August with marijuana in their on-campus dorm, and he was subsequently suspended for the season opener. It was expected that he would suit up for the Gators in Week 2, but his heart condition was discovered and he was unable to take the field.

Robinson will likely receive a medical hardship waiver, should he choose to accept it, which would allow him to remain enrolled at Florida in order to seek his undergraduate degree. He could also seek additional medical opinions in hopes of being cleared at another institution.

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