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USC incoming linebacker Telfort forced to quit football due to heart condition

July 29, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Frankie Telfort, an incoming linebacker for the USC football team, has been diagnosed with a genetic heart condition that will end his football career.

Heart specialists determined the 17-year-old had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick, making it harder for blood to be pumped into and out of the heart.

It occurs in about one out of every 500 people and is the leading cause of heart-related sudden death in people under 30, according to the Mayo Clinic.

"This is obviously very difficult news for Frankie, his family and all of us in the football program," USC Coach Pete Carroll said today on his website.

According to Carroll's site, Telfort was examined by several L.A. cardiologists before he visited the Minneapolis Heart Institue last week for a final opinion. USC will honor Telfort's full scholarship and he will still attend USC as a student.

Telfort, who is 5 feet 11, 197 pounds, was ranked by Rivals as the eighth best outside linebacker coming out of high school in 2009, where he attended Miami Guilliver Prep.

-- Baxter Holmes