HUNTINGTON — Marshall linebacker Jaquan Yulee is likely done for the season after injuring his neck in Saturday's 56-17 win over VMI.
Yulee's injury occurred late in the first quarter when he went across the middle and hit VMI tight end Jakob Herres, jarring the ball loose on a would-be completion for the Keydets.
A stretcher was brought onto the field for Yulee, who was surrounded by Marshall teammates concerned for their fallen teammate. As Yulee left the field with medical personnel, he signaled to the crowd before being taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Following the game, Marshall head coach Doc Holliday did not specify the injury, citing athletic policy, but Yulee and his family went to social media to give an update on his status.
At 10:57 p.m., Yulee - one of Marshall's most active players on social media - sent out a tweet that said, "well herd fans I just wanna be the first to say but I'm done for the season & I will be going into surgery tomorrow morning thank you all again for everything!"
In a later Facebook post on Saturday night, Fred Yulee - Jaquan's father - said, "Well everybody here's da update ON Yulee!!! He has broken his neck n he's having surgery in da morning (Sunday). Please keep him & our family in your prayers!!!"
Yulee, a junior from Chesapeake, Virginia, was making his first career start at linebacker on Saturday and had been active early in the contest with six tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack, prior to the injury.
Holliday did praise his team for bouncing back following the scary scene at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
"Any time somebody gets hurt, that's not a good thing," Holliday said. "He eventually is going to be alright. With that being said, you hate to see anybody get hurt. I thought they (the team) came back and reacted well - as well as they could. That's a tough deal."
Yulee was on the minds of players as they spoke with media following the win.
Tavante Beckett, Yulee's fellow linebacker and former high school teammate at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, said it was difficult to see Yulee down like that, especially knowing how geared up he was for that first start.
"It hit me hard because I felt his energy as soon as we got on the field together," Beckett said. "On the sideline, we was talking to each other. When he went down, I just know how bad he wanted to be out there and it's kind of just like I felt I had to finish the job for him and do everything right."
Beckett, who led Marshall with seven tackles in the contest, also said the two were texting before the game at the team hotel in anticipation of getting on the field together again after Beckett sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules following his arrival in Huntington from Virginia Tech.
"We've just got to keep playing for him," Beckett said.
Following Yulee's status post, social media flooded with Marshall fans sending well-wishes and praying for his speedy recovery.
Holliday does not normally comment on player injuries, citing privacy issues and athletic department policies in relation to such, but generally when players are out for the season, that information is released during press availability.
Due to the short week before Friday's contest with Boise State, Holliday's normal weekly press conference has been moved from Tuesday to Monday.