Less than nine weeks before the start of the 2017-18 season, the Michigan football team has lost one of its top incoming freshmen.
Corey Malone-Hatcher, a former four-star defensive end from Saint Joseph’s High School (Mich.), announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he is retiring from football.
Malone-Hatcher, who enrolled early at the University in January, cited lingering issues from an Achilles injury he suffered in 2015 as the reason for the premature end to his playing career.
“After a surgical repair and thousands of hours of rehab, my Achilles has not been recovering how it should be and is many months behind where it should be at this point in time,” Malone-Hatcher said via Twitter. “After discussions with the training staff and team doctor, it was collectively decided that I will take a medical disqualification.”
Malone-Hatcher said that he will remain on scholarship as a student at the University, in accordance with NCAA guidelines for medical exemptions, though he will not have the opportunity to suit up for the Wolverines.
Malone-Hatcher was one of 19 of Michigan's incoming freshmen ranked in the ESPN 300, with a ranking of 270. He was the top defensive end in the state of Michigan this year, as well as the No. 19 overall player at his position, also based off of the ESPN 300.
“I apologize to (Michigan coach Jim) Harbaugh and (defensive line coach Greg Mattison) as I know the expectation was for me to be able to come in and have an immediate impact. Nobody is more disappointed than myself,” Malone-Hatcher said. “I came to the University of Michigan to be turned into an excellent football player, excellent student, and most importantly, a Michigan Man.
“Sadly, my football career is over. I will continue in my pursuit the other two key points and let God take the wheel. Thank you to the Michigan fans who have supported me throughout my high school career.”