Jan 2, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT
Notre Dame recruit Torii Hunter Jr. suffered a serious injury during practice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, putting a damper on a week that looked to be very kind to the Irish. Hunter, a sought after wide receiver who will play both football and baseball at Notre Dame, broke his left femur during non-contact drills. He was taken off the field on a cart as news swirled on Twitter that he suffered what was originally rumored to be either a knee or quad injury.
Hunter’s father, MLBer Torii Hunter, confirmed the femur injury to ESPN’s Damon Sayles:
“It’s a fracture, and it will require surgery,” Hunter said of his son. “He’s a tough boy. He’s distraught right now, he’s never had an injury before. I told him he’ll bounce back. I know he will.
“He’s seen me fight through injuries, so he knows it can happen. You just have to work hard.”
Hunter caught a flight to San Antonio after getting the news that his son was carted off the field following 1-on-1 drills. Hunter Jr. was running a routine route when he went down in pain following the release.
The No. 5 receiver and No. 47 prospect in the ESPN 150, Hunter Jr. committed to Notre Dame in September, choosing the Fighting Irish over Nebraska and Arizona State. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver also is a standout center fielder and is a potential MLB draft pick.
“I think what he’s thinking is he’s going to miss baseball,” Hunter said.
How long Hunter’s rehabilitation will take is up for discussion. In the above quoted article, Hunter Sr. estimates that the injury will take six to eight months to rehab, making Hunter Jr.’s availability questionable heading into June, when he’ll enroll in summer school with the rest of the ’13 recruiting class. Yet Hunter Jr. said on Twitter that he’ll be good in 12 weeks, though he did think he’ll likely miss baseball season.
(For a good idea of what the rehabilitation process looks like for a broken injury, Edmonton Oilers prospect Taylor Fedun’s recovery was nicely chronicled. He’s currently playing for the Oklahoma City Barons after sitting out last season)
With a father that’s spent the past 15 years in the big leagues, Torii Jr. will not be short on medical help, and the elder Hunter has already started reaching out to doctors that will lead his son throughout his rehabilitation process.
The injury won’t do anything to Hunter Jr.’s commitment to the Irish. While Brian Kelly or the Irish coaches aren’t allowed to comment on any particular recruit until after Signing Day, a source inside the program confirmed that everything will stay the same with Hunter’s scholarship.
It’s a tough break for Hunter, who was likely to use this baseball season as a platform for MLB scouts, who project Hunter as a draftable prospect. It’s also a knock against the All-Star game circuit that’s taken over the recruiting ranks, a major injury to a player a month away from signing his letter-of-intent. In Hunter’s case, the injury won’t hurt his opportunity to cash in his college scholarship. But at a different school and for a different prospect, an injury like this could be devastating.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
With a little over 48 hours until Notre Dame and Navy play, the final pieces of installation around going in before the chess match between two coaching staffs take place. For the Irish, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gets his first chance at stopping the triple-option in over a decade.
Oct 29, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 29, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
For a man that’s had more success against Notre Dame than any of his predecessors over the past two generations, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo certainly doesn’t think he’s figured out the Irish. In fact, for his Midshipmen team to win, Niumatalolo acknowledges that it takes more than just his team playing near-perfect football. He needs Notre Dame’s help as well.
Oct 29, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
With last night’s announcement had all eyes on the first announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings, the immediate concern is Navy. While we can spend the next five weeks worrying about the view from 30,000 feet, credit Brian Kelly for understanding that the Midshipmen present the most clear and present danger.
Oct 28, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
The first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday evening. And Notre Dame has some work to do. The selection committee’s first ballot has the Irish slotted in at 10th in the country, a middle-of-the-pack one-loss team according to the 12-person voting panel.
Oct 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
With a week off between Florida State and Navy, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff had an extra week of preparation for Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack. Allowing his team to leave campus during the university’s fall break, Kelly afforded his players a chance to recharge their batteries after being on campus since June.
Oct 27, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Among the many reasons Charlie Weis lost his dream job coaching Notre Dame was the Irish’s stumbles in November. Even with a guaranteed 10-year contract, Jack Swarbrick couldn’t watch Notre Dame melt down in November for another year, with Weis’ final two seasons ending with Notre Dame going 1-9 after Halloween. That’s a scary movie franchise that needed killing, no matter the expense.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Before we have an Irish-free Saturday, let’s get to some questions. For those of you wondering what you should do on a day usually committed to football, the world is your oyster. Or you could watch some of Notre Dame’s opponents do battle.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
When Brian VanGorder’s name surfaced as Notre Dame looked for a new defensive coordinator, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of buzz behind the hire. While VanGorder fit many of the criteria that went along with a Brian Kelly hire, the big-picture reaction wasn’t one of universal support.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
There is no football game this weekend. For a Notre Dame football team that just played three-straight tight games, that’s a good thing. (For Irish fans, it’s a victory as well. Go buy a pumpkin and get outside in the fall weather.) As promised, let’s look back at the first eight weeks of the season. Notre Dame sits at 6-1, with a place in the College Football Playoff still very much in play.
Oct 23, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
For the second time in a week, Notre Dame’s recruiting class landed a playmaking linebacker. During a press conference streamed live on ESPN.com, Florida’s Tevon Coney pledged his commitment to the Irish, picking Notre Dame over finalists Miami and Florida.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
With Notre Dame’s scheduling agreement in place with the ACC, Jack Swarbrick and the Irish athletic department can find some certainty in their future slates. That certainty was announced Tuesday, with dates for five ACC games in place through 2019 and matchups set through 2025.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT
After eight weeks, the forecast for the first College Football Playoff is coming into focus. After falling to Florida State last weekend, the Irish lost pole position. But as a one-loss team now likely competing for one of the final spots in the four-team event, Notre Dame remains one of the top dark horse candidates.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the ACC has reversed course, deciding that the pass interference penalty was on C.J. Prosise after all. And that they’ve acknowledged that the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty they missed for P.J. Williams removing his helmet should’ve set up Notre Dame with a 1st-and-goal at the 9-yard line.
We’re moving on. (I promise.)
Oct 20, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Usually, Brian Kelly gives his team 24 hours to celebrate a win or get over a loss. That rule was likely tested — and you couldn’t blame him if it was slightly relaxed — after Saturday night’s 31-27 loss.
“We need to give our kids a break. They’ve been going since June,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Our first bye week we kept them here to stay on top of their academics. We’re going to give them a little time off. But we’ll come back recharged, ready to go.”
Oct 19, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Upon second inspection, Brian Kelly hasn’t gained any clarity on the offensive pass interference call that took a game-winning touchdown off the board. While the head coach has moved on, with the Irish getting some much-needed time off during fall break, Kelly’s opinion on the play — now that he’s realized the penalty was on Will Fuller, not C.J. Prosise — is even more muddled.
Oct 19, 2014, 2:37 AM EDT
With 13 seconds left, Corey Robinson caught the 4th-down pass from Everett Golson and walked into the end zone, all but uncovered. And for a moment, it looked like Notre Dame pulled off a win for the ages.
Oct 18, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
It’s finally here. Not just the biggest game of the year, but the ultimate test for this Notre Dame football team. Entering Doak Campbell Stadium against the defending national champs and Heisman Trophy winner, we’ll see if the Irish have what it takes to upset the Seminoles.
Oct 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
With the big showdown just a few hours away, let’s get to the mailbag questions.