Football, Sports

Malek Young joins list of players with odd pregame routine

DSC_7220.jpg

Miami sophomore cornerback Malek Young (12) records his second interception of the season against Notre Dame in the second quarter. Young also has had eight pass breakups in 2017. Photo credit: Josh White

Never judge a book by its cover.

The saying has been passed down through generations, and it applies to one of UM’s breakout defensive backs – sophomore cornerback Malek Young.

Young has recorded a team-leading eight pass breakups to go along with two interceptions and 31 tackles this season.

“He’s a fearless competitor,” cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph said. “Malek plays very confident. He feels like one of the top corners when he gets out there, and that’s what we instill in him every single week.”

That impression of the bold, assertive defender is what opponents see on the field. But what they don’t see is what Young does before the games even start.

“I threw up last game twice; I always do,” Young said about his experience during the Syracuse-Miami matchup Oct. 21. “At second kickoff, I played a possession already, but I had to throw up. I’m not nervous, I just feel like I have to get it out of me.”

After he gets sick, whether it be before or during games, Young feels better. It’s almost become a ritual for him.

“He vomits before every game,” Rumph said. “I think at Notre Dame last year, he threw up on coach Ephraim Banda’s shoe. And last game they said, ‘Malek just vomited,’ and he’ll do it and just say, ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s just what I do.’”

Young is not the only one. Several storied football players have confirmed this happening to them as well, and for many of them, it was good luck.

“We were so superstitious that my offensive line would not leave the locker room until I threw up,” former UM quarterback Jim Kelly said in an interview with Dan Patrick. “But the times I didn’t think I needed to or it wasn’t one of those games where I was so pumped up – like if we had already clinched – the offensive line wouldn’t leave. So I went in there and pretended just to keep those guys happy.”

Rumph said former Miami linebacker Dan Morgan was the same way.

“So pregame, Dan would always be in the stall, and you’ll just hear somebody and you’re like, ‘OK, that’s Dan,’” Rumph said. “With some people, that’s just how they get rid of their anxiety. They let it out physically … From their stomachs.”

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley, former New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb all threw up before games.

This calming mechanism allows Young to become that “fearless” defender on the field. But what makes him special despite his impressive 2017 campaign is that he refuses to settle for his current accomplishments.

“I feel like I can get better,” Young said. “I have some mental mistakes and some mental errors. I feel like I play OK, but the standard is set high here, and I just got to play toward it.”

“His nickname is ‘Humble Child,'” Rumph said. “He’s very humble, but as a corner, you have to mentally feel like you’re that guy, so he does.”

November 13, 2017

Reporters

Maxwell Trink


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

As the Miami Hurricanes started their third series against the FIU Panthers on Saturday afternoon, t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is headed to the championship of one th ...

The Miami women's tennis team posted a 5-2 mark in official matches on the second day of the Mi ...

Freshman Riley Howard continued her incredible start as a Canes cross country runner setting another ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to host Virginia Tech Sunday at noon at Cobb Stadium. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.