While the incoming freshmen class has arrived on campus and begun their college careers – including receiving their jersey numbers – on 2013 frosh’s career looks like it will get off to a later start than expected.
Torii Hunter Jr suffered a nasty injury during the practices of the 2013 US Army All-American bowl. The son of the MLB All-Star Torii Hunter, Sr. broke his leg running a route in a freak incident and was expected to be out at least six months. That recovery timeframe would allowed him to be ready for fall, but the South Bend Tribune reported last week that the younger Hunter has suffered a setback in his recovery.
“The bone was only healing on the inside of the leg, but the outside still needs some healing,” Hunter said. “Everyone thought that I was progressing pretty fast, but the bone kinda slowed me down.”
With his progress from the injury slowed, his freshman season at Notre Dame looks to be in doubt. Hunter seeing the field this fall after the injury was already a bit overly optimistic given the time he lost in the weight room this off-season while recovering. This latest development, however, casts even more doubt on the upcoming season for the Texas native.
It is unfortunate for Hunter that the leg is not healing as quickly as originally planned, but a season spent redshirting and regaining strength might have already been the best course of action for Hunter long term.
If you’ve read this site since Torii Hunter Jr originally committed to Notre Dame, you know that I am very high on Hunter’s potential and thing that is all of the makings of a big-time playmaker in this offense at some point in his career. That point unfortunately looks to be down the road due to his injury and the lengthy recovery that he is going through.
When healthy, Hunter possesses the skillset needed to excel as an inside wide receiver in this offense.
Torii Hunter, Jr. following in Torii Hunter, Sr.’s footsteps
This off-season has not been all bad news for Torii Hunter, Jr. though. The same week that he learned of his latest setback, he also learned that his father’s employer, the Detroit Tigers, had drafted him in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Like his father, the younger Hunter is an accomplished baseball player and at some point might have to make a decision between football and baseball. Before anyone starts panicing though, that time does not appear to be anytime soon since Hunter was selected in just the 36th round.
Still, given Hunter’s MLB connections there could come a time when he will have to decide which sport he wants to be his main focus. Jeff Samardzija was able to excel both as a wide receiver for the Fighting Irish football team and as a pitcher on the Irish baseball squad throughout his college career. Once his collegiate football career ended though, the All-American wide receiver hung up his shoulder pads and pursued a career with the Chicago Cubs.
It’s possible that Hunter will have to make a similar decision at some point. For now though, his focus will be on acclimating to college life and continuing to rehab his injured leg so that we’ll be able to start talking more about what he does on the field instead of in the training room.