Miami Hurricanes linebacker Marques Gayot was hospitalized after injuring his neck at practice Wednesday but is expected to make a full recovery, the school said.
The 6-1, 222-pound sophomore from Lake Worth Park Vista High School was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center shortly after 11 a.m. after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate.
“[Gayot] has undergone a battery of tests and will be kept overnight for precaution,” UM said in a statement around 3:45 p.m. “He will be placed in a neck collar and released [Thursday]. He is expected to be make a full recovery.”
How long Gayot will be out remains uncertain. The Hurricanes (3-0), whose next game is Oct. 1 at Cincinnati, were already a bit depleted at linebacker.
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Sophomore Darrion Owens sustained a season-ending knee injury Sept. 11 against FAU, and Jermaine Grace injured his right shoulder last Saturday against Nebraska.
Coach Al Golden said Sunday that Grace is also going through concussion protocol following a collision with a teammate during the Nebraska game. Gayot, a converted safety, played a lot Saturday in Grace’s absence, along with sophomore Juwon Young.
Gayot played in six games as a freshman, mostly on special teams, and made one tackle. This season he has played in all three games as a reserve and has seven tackles — 2 1/2 for loss — and 1 1/2 sacks.
Golden was scheduled to speak during the Atlantic Coast Conference teleconference at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday but did not participate because of Gayot’s injury.
Beyond veterans Grace, Raphael Kirby and Tyriq McCord, the Hurricanes are inexperienced at linebacker. Freshmen Terry McCray, Charles Perry, James King, and Jamie Gordinier have all played on special teams and not much beyond that.
Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio has said in the past that rush ends Trent Harris and Al-Quadin Muhammad could play outside linebacker if needed.