June 18, 2024

Tovani Mizell tore both his ACL and meniscus. He talks about his recovery journey and what he went through to get back to 100 percent.
When it comes to everyone’s senior year of high school, if they play a sport, they want to compete one last time with their teammates before leaving for college.

Unfortunately, that did not happen for Tovani Mizell, a 6-foot-1, 3-star running back from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had to miss his final year of high school football due to a serious injury sustained during fall camp.

Mizell had committed to Kentucky in June, before fall camp began. With no pressure to commit to a school, Mizell could focus on finishing his senior year good academically and continuing to play well on the field.

Mizell tore his ACL during fall camp but was unaware of it since the MRI results did not arrive until a week later. He thought he had a sprain and continued to practice, which worsened the knee pain even more than previously.

“During fall camp last year, I was injured while playing,” Mizell tells A Sea of Blue. “I didn’t understand how severe it was until I received the MRI results a week later. I believed it was simply a sprain, so I kept practicing. The results revealed a torn ACL and Meniscus. I had surgery on September 6, 2023.”

After surgery, he began recovery in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, with the objective of matching Adrian Peterson’s schedule when he tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee.

“I was doing therapy three times a week,” Mizell explains. “In the beginning, the goal was to ensure that I had flexion and extension while also managing any swelling. When the stitches came out, the hard work began, and I’ve been working hard ever since. “I wanted to follow Adrian Peterson’s timeline and achieve every milestone he did.”

When Mizell was recovering from his injury, he was motivated by his faith and drive to return better than before. With Mizell in recovery, Kentucky could have canceled his offer due to the injury, but they stood by him for one day so he could fulfill his ambition of playing in the NFL.


Tovani Mizell, Western, Running Back


“They assured me that no matter what happened, they believed in me and would stand by their commitment,” Mizell recalls. “The support of the Kentucky staff gave me extra motivation to know that I can still live out my dream.”

Mizell described his physical and mental state following his injuries.

“I am bigger, faster, and stronger than I was before the injury,” Mizell stated. “Throughout the entire procedure, I pushed myself, lifted, and trained as if I was not injured. I thought of it as relaxation and recovery rather than rehabilitation. I wanted to use this time to get my physique ready for the next level.”

Mizell intends to conclude his senior year with track and field before arriving at Kentucky’s campus.

“My plans are to continue training and increasing my speed and strength and to finish my track and field season before I show up on campus,” Mizell states.

Mizell’s first main goal at Kentucky is to get on the field and play as a true freshman.

“I’m just looking forward to getting on the field and doing what I have to do to start as a true freshman,” Mizell states.

He also wishes to express his gratitude to the Kentucky fans for their unwavering support during his recovery from injury.

“The BBN is amazing, and their support is appreciated,” Mizell stated.

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