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.
Jul 22, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT
A recruiting cycle before Notre Dame went hunting late for big bodies to play along the defensive line, they signed a player who might be able to fit that mold in 2014. Fresh off a redshirt, Jacob Matuska has the chance to add some much needed size and strength to Brian VanGorder’s defensive line.
Jul 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
The founding member of the 2014 recruiting class, linebacker Greer Martini enters a football program that looks decidedly different than the one he committed to back in July of 2012. Irish A-to-Z continues as we look at the freshman inside linebacker.
Jul 21, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT
No, he’s not his brother. But center Nick Martin should solidify his standing as one of the top centers in the country in 2014. After an injury ended his debut season in the starting lineup early, Martin returns healthy after knee surgery, giving Notre Dame a key anchor in the middle of Harry Hiestand’s offensive line.
Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
After losing Troy Niklas and Alex Welch from the depth chart, Notre Dame needed to restock a position that’s been very kind to the Irish over the past few years. Irish A-to-Z continues with freshman tight end Tyler Luatua.
Jul 20, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT
A year after contributing as a freshman, Cole Luke’s assignment will be a bit more ambitious in 2014. One of three cornerbacks who is expected to play major minutes, Irish A-to-Z continues with the sophomore cover man.
Jul 19, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
One of four graduate students on the Irish roster, Christian Lombard feels like he’s been a part of the Notre Dame football program for a long time. As one of Charlie Weis’ earliest commitments in the 2010 class, Lombard has seen coaching changes, position switches and injury challenges in his five years in South Bend.
Jul 19, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
After two underwhelming seasons in South Bend, Ben Koyack finally emerged as a legitimate threat late last season. And with Troy Niklas’ unexpected departure to the NFL, Koyack has a chance to be the next in a line of impressive tight ends playing on Sundays. The Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at Notre Dame’s starting tight end.
Jul 17, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
With just two other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, incoming freshman DeShone Kizer begins his college career a bit closer to the playing field than any head coach would like. Our latest in Irish A-to-Z looks at Notre Dame’s quarterback from the 2014 recruiting class.
Jul 17, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT
Injuries to Louis Nix and Kona Schwenke gave Jarron Jones his shot at a new position. The rising junior took advantage of his opportunities. Our next installment in Irish A-to-Z takes a look at Notre Dame’s new starting defensive tackle.
Jul 16, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT
When Notre Dame added Torii Hunter Jr. to the roster on Signing Day 2013, the Irish did more than just add another famous father to the family section at Notre Dame Stadium. Our next installment on Irish A-to-Z looks at a rising sophomore who is healthy after entering Notre Dame with a major injury.
Jul 16, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT
Few football programs need a press release to discuss the markings on their home football field. But after months of wonderment by certain segments of the Irish football fanbase, the athletic department gave us an early “look” at what the new synthetic playing surface will look like when Notre Dame takes the field this fall.
Jul 15, 2014, 12:43 PM EDT
Entering his senior season, Chase Hounshell’s career has been defined by what’s kept him off the field, not his performance on it. Our next installment in Irish A-to-Z looks closer at the Ohio native who has battled back from multiple shoulder injuries.
Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Everett Golson spent part of last week as a counselor at the Elite 11 quarterback camp, held at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. And while he earned rave reviews for his work on the playing field as an instructor, he also earned more than his fair share of kudos for his maturity off of it.
Jul 14, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
While TJ Jones is gone, Notre Dame might have signed a receiver that looks and plays an awful lot like him in incoming freshman Corey Holmes. Irish A-to-Z continues with the incoming freshman receiver from Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the elite programs in the country.
Jul 13, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT
One of the last players on Notre Dame’s radar during the 2014 recruiting cycle was Kolin Hill. Our next installment in the Irish A-to-Z series takes a look at the incoming freshman from Texas.
Jul 12, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
After spending 2013 on the sidelines, opportunity comes to Mike Heuerman in 2014. With Troy Niklas a surprise entrant in the NFL Draft and the departure of veteran Alex Welch to Miami (Ohio), Heuerman and fellow sophomore Durham Smythe are the next men in for Brian Kelly and the Irish offense.
Jul 11, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Matt Hegarty’s football career almost ended when a stroke suffered during a November practice in 2012 revealed two small holes in his heart. Healthy again and a key contributor late in 2013, our next stop on the Irish A-to-Z train takes a look at the New Mexico native and his road back onto the playing field.
Jul 11, 2014, 8:59 AM EDT
Watch List week continues with more Irish veterans recognized for their potential 2014 season. In addition to Everett Golson, KeiVarae Russell and Jaylon Smith, four more Irish players found their names on awards lists, with Kyle Brindza, Sheldon Day, Ben Koyack and Nick Martin being tabbed.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT
A new time-lapse video released by Fighting Irish Digital Media and UND.com gives us an update on the FieldTurf installation going inside Notre Dame Stadium.