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Hunter Jr.’s recovery progressing ahead of schedule

Apr 5, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

torii-hunter-jr

With the departure of Justin Ferguson and Davonte Neal, incoming freshman Will Fuller and Torii Hunter Jr. will be given every opportunity to play catch-up this summer. For Fuller, that means a solid summer in the weight room with Paul Longo. For Hunter, it’s not quite as straight-forward.

A broken femur in January put the trajectory of Hunter’s college career in a holding pattern. A fluke injury during Army All-American Bowl practices was one of the most severe injuries suffered in recent years at the San Antonio based exhibition game. It was also a college football coach’s nightmare — losing an elite recruit to an injury suffered after his high school career, in a game that’s essentially meaningless.

Hunter’s recovery has been tracked by many Irish recruitniks, made even more intriguing with the recent attrition to the depth chart. With a recovery estimated between six and nine months, getting anything out of Hunter in 2013 seemed to be a stretch.

Yet nobody told that to the wide receiver.

Thanks to a report from Christian McCollum of Irish Sports Daily, we’re able to see the future Irish receiver in action, well ahead of his doctor’s timetable.

From ISD:

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder from Prosper High School (Prosper, Texas) has been walking for almost two months, but just started attacking the physical portion of his rehabilitation about two weeks ago. As seen in the video below, the process is coming along quickly.

“It’s definitely encouraging,” Hunter Jr. said. “It makes me want to push more. When you start seeing results, you don’t want to stop. (My physical therapist) is going to keep packing on the work. He has no problem with that.”

There’s no more pain in the leg, just a lack of strength.

“You can tell it’s weak,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt at all. It’s just hard to do because it’s just so weak. You’re trying to flex that muscle as hard as you can to keep your balance or push off something. That’s why I make those faces because it’s just so hard to try to focus and get those muscles firing.”

If you’re interested in what Hunter’s doing, just three months after the injury, take a look at the video ISD had. Pretty impressive.

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  1. yaketyyacc - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    welcome fuller and hunter. lots of catchup. summer workouts can give not only an evening up but a getting ahead. why? the focus is on a very few and there can be concentrated training. take advantage of the special opportunity that is afforded you.
    oh, don’t complain about the heat and terrible humidity, Fall at Notre Dame means just that, a real drop in temperature, in the weather, and a heating up of spirit, fevor, and dedication on the gridiron.
    and yes, while you are building the body, take time to get ahead in studies, good advice.

  2. masalaswag - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Pops has made over $100-million in Major League Baseball .. and THOSE are the shoes he’s training in? I wonder what I am missing here.

    • standingdomer - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      maybe his father is the right kind of guy too. flashy guys like trump could learn a thing or two from buffet and gates

  3. fnc111 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I sure hope he just focuses on baseball or school. That injury, non-contact, is not a good sign for a football career. Him and Amir will quickly become best friends.

  4. fnc111 - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    yake???????? Hunter is from Texas. He’s been through plenty of heat and humidity worse than the mostly cold Midwest. In fact he’ll probably dislike October and November in SB. Can we move ND’s campus to North Scottsdale?

    • papadec - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      fnc – I hope not. I like the seasonal changes in SB. Arizona has seasonal changes too – hot, hotter, hottest. Nude – give us the straight scoop on Arizona weather, please. Up here in the Seattle area, we have wet, wetter, wettest.

      • nudeman - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        You pretty much got it right … hot/hotter/hottest

        Best months to tee it up: April & May.
        Rates drop, snowbirds who can’t break 110 leave, and it’s warm but not oppressive.

        Worst month to tee it up: August
        It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. July/August are the monsoon season and 40% humidity might not sound like much but combine it with 109 degrees and it’s a killer

        Best months to watch NBC on a Saturday afternoon: Sept-November

      • nudeman - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        By the way, just watched the workout video. Having had a hip replacement (where they cut the top off of your femur, same bone Hunter broke) I recognize some of those drills. Godawful boring and tedious.

        But what struck me is how slight of build this kid is.
        Longo has some work to do here.

      • mtflsmitty - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        That video was riveting, and like a classic comedy it stands up to multiple viewings.

        Thanks for the insight on the hip replacement, Nude. It helps round out the picture and provides a bit more context to explain some of your snotty posting phases. :-)

  5. ndnapa - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Having Hunter taking even one AB this spring has to be the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. This is now big-time college athletics, and there is alot of $$ at stake-even if it’s only the cost of the scholarship-which it isn’t. Coach Kelly and his father need to get proactive here. The kid can’t even walk without a limp.

    It’s not macho, it’s just dumb.

  6. 4horsemenrideagain - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    and you should focus on your next season of Downton Abbey, kicking puppies or whatever else it is you do when you’re not posting your gibberish here.

  7. 25kgold - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Check out Louis Nix a.k.a Irish Chocolate a.k.a St. Nix in this vid!! Going to be a great year!

  8. nudeman - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Is Hunter also playing baseball?

    • bernhtp - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      That’s his intent. I doubt that Kelly is a big fan of it, but there is a lot of precedent with Jeff Samardzija, Golden Tate and Pat Connaughton (basketball) having been prominent two-sport athletes.

      • nudeman - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        Evan Sharpley too

  9. goirishgo - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    I was a two sport D3 guy and the demands were pretty significant. I can’t imagine playing two sports while getting a degree at ND. Very impressive young men!

  10. idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Anybody know if the spring game will be televised again this year?

  11. 25kgold - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    The best thing that happened to this program last year was the A$$ whoopin in Miami!! Now we’re a raging bull and every Saturday is the red cape! Let’s Go Irish!

  12. irish13pa - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Hunter is a top prospect in baseball. He may never take the feild for ND. He could be a first round draft pick in the Majors and never go to college.

    That is a BIG possibility.

    • bernhtp - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      I would be very surprised if this were true. You don’t go to Notre Dame to be a one and done (or less). You don’t go to Notre Dame if you are a top baseball prospect and that is the intent for your future. I’m sure this issue was heavily discussed between Kelly and the Hunter family before the offer was given; Kelly surely would not have given the offer if he believed there was a high probability that he would leave within a year or two for pro baseball.

      While anything is possible given the uncertainties of the future, I have little doubt that everyone involved believes(d) that Hunter would graduate from Notre Dame, along with nearly everyone else.

  13. Keith Arnold - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    That leg injury ended at chance that Hunter will be a first round pick, and I don’t think it was all that realistic to think he would be one, either…

    While there are certainly concerns about a leg injury like this one, I think we should all relax a little bit before we start thinking that Hunter is risking greater injury just because he suffered this one. He’ll likely be just fine.

    Lastly — FNC, when’d you become such a bitter messageboard troll? Maybe I just haven’t been lurking down here enough, but does the sun shine for you, ever? You do remember that ND is coming off an undefeated regular season?

    • bernhtp - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Keith, you’re right on all counts.

      I have heard no indication that the broken femur was anything but a freak accident and not some congenital flaw in his biology. We would not be seeing that he is ahead of schedule and very optimistic about returning if this were the case.

      For newbies here, Keith played baseball at ND, so he know about what he speaks.

      Regarding FNC, I stick by my explanation from another post – one apparently widely agreed upon here – that FNC’s dark psychology is rooted in a horrific childhood experience. We sympathize, but still want him to take his cloud to another board.

      • nudeman - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Thought I remember reading that Hunter was a “good/very good but not great” baseball prospect.

        Besides, at 175 lbs this kid has a LOT of filling out to do before he plays pro anything.

      • bernhtp - Apr 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Hunter’s size is less of a factor than his potential and development for baseball. Even with great talent, he would spend at least a couple of years in the minors. While 175 is on the light side, it isn’t disqualifying in baseball. We tend to think too much about the older star power hitters, who do get quite large.

        Chicago Cubs roster, for example: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=chc

      • nudeman - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        I was referring to his weight re: playing D-I football
        175 isn’t a showstopper, but he’s clearly on the light side, even for an incoming frosh

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