Yasir Abdullah, a second-generation Carol City grad, goes to Jaguars in NFL Draft

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Yasir Abdullah is a second-generation graduate of Carol City, a coach’s son, an all-conference linebacker and now an NFL player.

The linebacker is headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the first pick in the fifth round — No. 136 overall — of the 2023 NFL Draft on Sunday.

Abdullah was a former first-team all-county selection by the Miami Herald in both football, and track and field, and parlayed his blend of athleticism and intelligence to stardom with the Louisville Cardinals to transform into an NFL prospect.

Last year, he earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors after stuffing the stat sheet with 63 tackles, 14 1/2 tackles for loss, 9 1/2 sacks, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and six passes defended. He was a second-team All-ACC selection as a junior in 2021, too, with 61 tackles, 17 1/2 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and three passes defended.

After playing in 11 games without a start as a freshman in 2018, Abdullah started 40 of final 49 games in his career with the Cardinals. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker was ready to play from Day 1 in Louisville, Kentucky, and just kept getting better.

His father is part of why. Like Abdullah, Xavier McCray was a star for the Chiefs and he went on to play at Florida, where he was part of the Gators’ 1996 national-championship team. He later became a coach at Fort Myers Cypress Lake and Abdullah moved with him across the state to play for his father as a freshman and sophomore, only to move back to South Florida after his dad got fired.

Abdullah first landed at Miramar for a semester — and he earned All-Broward County honors in track and field during his brief time there — and finally enrolled at Carol City for his last two years of high school, attending the same school his parents did.

As a senior, he had 71 tackes, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception, and scored two touchdowns, and then earned first-team all-county honors in the long jump in track and field. It was the best glimpse yet of what was to come and he signed with the Cardinals as a three-star linebacker, according to the 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2018.