Tragedy has a myriad of ways of impacting people in their day-to-day life. Some people need to carry on as if nothing happened to take their mind off it. Some people need to be alone and with their thoughts. Others need to be around their friends or loved ones and commiserate together. For Miami Hurricanes QB Malik Rosier, he just wanted to play for his dad.
And play he did.
The U dominated Notre Dame from start to finish. The defense and their now-famous turnover chain forced four turnovers and the final score ended up 41-8. It was a thorough dismantling and launched Miami into the college football playoff and national title conversation.
Only it wasn’t until this week that everyone found out Rosier was playing with extra motivation and a heavy heart. Last Monday, he awoke to a text from his stepmother that his father had been admitted to the hospital after experiencing numbness on the entire left side of his body. He had suffered a stroke and was not released from the hospital until Thursday.
“It’s one of those things that really changes how you look at life,” Rosier told ESPN. “My life was 8-0 as a quarterback, everything was going fine, and then you get that news and you realize means so much, but it’s not everything. You have to take account of the people that are in your life and don’t take them for granted.
“I could have woken up Monday morning and lost my dad.”
It was a shock to Eli Rosier, Malik’s father, who Malik describes as being in pristine shape.
“It was scary,” Eli Rosier told ESPN. “It was a wake-up call, I can tell you that. I’m pretty much a miracle because I came back with about 85 percent of my strength back on my left side.”
Eli Rosier didn’t notice the symptoms at first, but family and friends did when he showed up on their televisions during the ABC broadcast of Miami’s 28-10 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech on Nov. 4. Eli Rosier said that he received phone calls and text messages after the game from people wondering whether he was OK because he didn’t look well on TV.
His mother called and said the left side of his face looked different and his eye was drooping.
Once Eli Rosier got back home from Miami, he said that other than having some sinus congestion, he felt fine. He took some NyQuil and went to bed.
While on his way to work on Monday, Eli Rosier collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Doctors told him that he had a hole in between one of his lungs and his heart.
Malik Rosier said he woke up Monday morning to a text message from his stepmother, Shannon Rosier, telling him that his father was in the hospital because the “left side of his body was numb” and “he couldn’t really feel his lower half.”
Strokes are scary and can have devastating results. The fact that Eli was able to return to “85 percent” is a miracle, according to him. Malik took it in stride and took the admirable approach of not telling his coaches so as not to burden them with the intense preparation for Notre Dame on their minds. There is no doubt Mark Richt‘s staff would have been there for him, but it’s admirable nonetheless.
“I know the coaches have so much to worry about with Notre Dame that I didn’t want to burden them with my problems as well,” Malik said.
Rosier and his father talked every day leading up to Saturday’s showdown with the Irish. Eli’s message to his son was simple: “Stay humble, don’t worry about me, worry about the game.”
“I didn’t want him worrying about me because I know how he is. He called me enough while I was in the hospital so I didn’t want that burden on him when he had to go out and play,” Eli Rosier said.
“I’m proud that he’s mature enough to know, ‘Hey, my daddy’s all right. I gotta go lead these men on the field and I can just turn around and take care of my daddy afterward.'”
Malik has been a major part of Miami’s reemergence on the college football scene. Richt has helped bring a proud program back into the limelight, and it has their alumnus really rocking. Take these two videos from former Miami football stars Ray Lewis and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
— Ray Lewis (@raylewis) November 11, 2017
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 12, 2017
Everyone’s smellin’ what The U is cookin’, especially Malik’s dad.
“He is a diehard Miami fan — and he really hates Notre Dame, to be honest with you — but as much as I was playing for my dad, I was also playing for the guys who strapped up and put the pads on with me,” Rosier said. “Those are the guys that I grind with every day, and my dad knew that I was going to do the best that I could.
“He was like, ‘I’m glad the game wasn’t close or you would have given me another stroke.’ He kinda had that joke going on.”
Eli attempted to surprise his son at the game, but unfortunately felt nauseous every time he got in the car. According to the article, “Eli Rosier is gaining strength through rehab and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday. His doctors have cleared him to travel to Miami’s home game against Virginia (12 p.m. ET, ABC) on Saturday, and barring any setbacks, he’ll be there to see his son in person again.”
The Miami Hurricanes have a huge test against Clemson next weekend, which is currently ranked one spot ahead of Miami at No. 2 despite Miami being unblemished. This matchup is almost certainly going to be a preview of the ACC Championship game. The U can take a stranglehold on the playoffs with a win and maybe even leap frog Alabama, which only has two ranked wins on its resume to this point in the season.