By: Matt Rothman
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team has had some incredible football players, but Michael McLaughlin may be one of their all-time best.
McLaughlin is committed to playing college football at the University of Miami in 2021. What is even more incredible is that McLaughlin has only played six varsity games at left tackle and is considered by his coach as a special talent.
“I’m sure Miami is just licking their chops to get to work with [him],” said Head Coach Quentin Short. “He hasn’t even scratched the surface of where he is going to be. He is a leader on this team and works really hard and comes to work every day.”
McLaughlin grew up in Indiana, where he played football as a child. He currently lives in Parkland and credits his father, Scott, for pushing him to become the best and providing him the tools to be successful. McLaughlin also played basketball and became one of the rare successful two-sport athletes playing on the MSD’s varsity basketball team under Head Coach Teddy Lyons.
He mostly played as a tight end and defensive end until the Hurricanes coaching staff decided to offer him a scholarship as a left tackle. McLaughlin not only has a chance to be a dominant college player but a potential star in the NFL.
However, after only four games last year, McLaughlin suffered a serious knee injury against Monarch High School and ended up missing the rest of the year with a strained medial collateral ligament.
“Before that, I had never had a serious injury like that, so it was something new for me that I hadn’t gone through before,” Mclaughlin said. “I wasn’t committed yet, but Miami reassured me that nothing would change on their end, and that was important to me when they said that.”
McLaughlin has only had the opportunity to play in two games this season after a pair of matchups were canceled.
His next game will be a challenge as he will be going up against Christopher Columbus High School, the third-ranked team in Florida. This game will be a preview of some of the competition he will see as he continues his football career.
Graduating in December, McLaughlin will attend UM next semester, where he will be allowed to practice with his new team, then have four full seasons of play.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor's degree in journalism. Originally from Long Island, he moved to Parkland shortly after high school. Along with Parkland Talk, Matt is the lone contributing writer for the New York Islanders with The Hockey Writers. He worked as the Assistant Sports Editor for his school paper, Eagle News.
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