• Columbia linebacker Ethan Umstead watches from the bleachers during Monday's conditioning (JORDAN KROEGER/Lake City Reporter).
    Columbia linebacker Ethan Umstead watches from the bleachers during Monday's conditioning (JORDAN KROEGER/Lake City Reporter).

PREP FOOTBALL: Umstead recovering from fractured ankle

Columbias middle linebacker suffered injury two weeks ago at Princeton.

Columbia middle linebacker Ethan Umstead suffered two fractures in his left ankle at a camp at Princeton University two weeks ago, putting his status for the start of the season in question.

Umstead was up north visiting Princeton and was planning on participating in a camp at Columbia afterwards. But Umstead’s ankle got tangled with another player on the final play of the camp, causing two fractures and a high sprain in his left.

The rising senior has been in a boot since the injury and was scheduled to go to the doctor for a checkup on Monday afternoon. He was given a recovery time of about six to eight weeks and has been doing physical therapy three times a week to make it back for the start of the regular season, which begins on Aug. 23 against Gainesville.

“It sucks. It makes you open up your eyes and realize that life isn’t always fair,” Umstead said. “Sometimes bad things happen but you’ve got to look to God and right now that’s what I’m doing. Hopefully I can get back.” 

Umstead still attended Columbia’s camp the next day to meet the coaching staff . Both Ivy League schools have been interested in Umstead, though they’ve yet to officially offer him a scholarship.

“They’ve been texting me and I’ve been on two visits there. It’s really nice,” Umstead said.

“I’ve got to get my SAT score up and I should probably get it.”

In the meantime, Columbia will have to shuffle around its depth chart at linebacker with training camp beginning on July 30. Columbia head coach Brian Allen says they’ll move Jaylen Brown to the middle while using Marlon Pollock, Shyheim Brown and Michael Scippio at outside linebacker for the time being.

Allen anticipates Umstead being ready for the start of the season.

“We’re just kind of trying to handle it by committee with what we have,” Allen said.

Umstead led Columbia with 114 tackles to go along with a pair of sacks and two fumbles recoveries. His absence would be a huge loss for the Tigers but Umstead is looking at the bright side — better now than during the regular season.

“I’m ready to get back because they’re going to have to feel me this year. It’s my last year,” Umstead said. “I’ve had some bumps and bruises throughout my career but this one coming at the time period it did, I’ve got to do good this year. This is it. It’s my last ride.”

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