Details weren't immediately available when Miami announced that redshirt freshman offensive lineman Hunter Knighton had been hospitalized after a February pre-spring workout, then released in mid-March.
That changed Saturday, the day of the Hurricanes' spring game, when Knighton and Miami announced that the New Jersey native had suffered a heatstroke -- and wound up spending two weeks in intensive care.
“On February 24th, my football career at the University of Miami was unfortunately derailed after being taken to the hospital following a workout," Knighton said in a statement. "With a 109 degree body temperature and unknowingly suffering with the flu, I was stricken by a heat stroke. The results were not good: brain swelling, multiple seizures, kidney and liver failure. Unresponsive, I was placed on a ventilator for twelve days during which time I fought one of the greatest battles of my life against a loss of blood platelets, double pneumonia, and fever."
Despite that struggle, Knighton says he plans of making a full recovery and continuing his Hurricanes career.
"I am so close to achieving my childhood goal of playing Division I football and I am determined to make it happen," he said. "I plan to contribute this spring to my team and not only achieve my goal of playing major college football, but far surpassing it, and helping The U win games. Thank you to all of those who have supported me and prayed for me.”
In his own statement, Al Golden said Knighton had become one of "the top performers on our team" over offseason workouts and "was emerging as a team leader."
"Hunter was so close to realizing his lifelong goal of starting at center in major football program when he fell ill," Golden said. "Since he first began the recovery process, Hunter has been nothing short of amazing and has been an inspiration to us all, approaching his rehab program with courage and fortitude. I have absolutely no doubt that Hunter will continue to persevere, make a full recovery, rejoin his teammates and realize all of his goals at The U.”