Tovani Mizell had a meniscus and ACL tear. He talks about his journey to full recovery and the challenges he faced along the way.

For many high school seniors who play sports, the chance to compete one final time with their teammates before heading to college is highly anticipated.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Tovani Mizell, a 6-foot-1, 3-star running back from Fort Lauderdale, FL. He missed his senior season of high school football due to a significant injury he sustained during fall camp.

Mizell had already committed to Kentucky in June before fall camp began. With his college decision made, his focus was on finishing his senior year strong academically and excelling on the field.

During fall camp, Mizell tore his ACL, but he initially thought it was just a sprain and continued to practice, which worsened the injury. It wasn’t until a week later, when the MRI results came back, that he learned he had a torn ACL and meniscus. He underwent surgery on September 6, 2023.

Post-surgery, Mizell began rehab in Fort Lauderdale, aiming to match the recovery timeline of Adrian Peterson, who had overcome a similar injury.

“I did therapy three times a week,” Mizell explained. “Initially, it was about maintaining flexion and extension and managing swelling. Once the stitches were out, the real work began, and I’ve been pushing hard ever since. I wanted to achieve every milestone that Adrian Peterson did.”



Mizell’s faith and determination were crucial in his recovery. Despite the injury, Kentucky upheld their commitment to him, providing additional motivation to pursue his NFL dream.

“They assured me that no matter what, they believed in me and stood by their commitment,” Mizell said. “The support from the Kentucky staff was a huge motivation, reinforcing that I could still achieve my dream.”

Regarding his current physical and mental state, Mizell said, “I’m bigger, faster, and stronger than before the injury. Throughout the process, I pushed myself, lifting and training as if I wasn’t hurt. I viewed it as rest and recovery rather than rehabilitation. I wanted to prepare my body for the next level.”

Mizell plans to finish his senior year by participating in track and field before joining the Kentucky campus.

“My plans are to continue training, increasing my speed and strength, and to complete my track and field season before arriving on campus,” Mizell stated.

His primary goal at Kentucky is to get on the field and start as a true freshman.

“I’m looking forward to getting on the field and doing what it takes to start as a true freshman,” Mizell said.

He also expressed gratitude to Kentucky fans for their support during his recovery.

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

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