Notre Dame’s defensive tackle depth may be about to take another blow with the news that Derrell Hand’s career might be over because of a hereditary disease in his spinal cord. Hand, who missed the first three games of the 2007 due to suspension, was expected to be a solid contributor in the defensive tackle rotation this year.
According to Blue and Gold Illustrated:
“He’s not the type of player to complain about injuries and he really never said that his back was hurting him, at least when he played for me,” said Fulk, who coached Hand at West Catholic High School in Philadelphia. “It kind of came out of nowhere for me.”
Hand is expected to get a second opinion but if the initial diagnosis is correct, Fulk said that playing football could severely aggravate the injury and potentially cause long-term problems.
“He’s going to get a second opinion about it,” Fulk said. “But at this point, it doesn’t look real good for him to play football ever again.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that Pat Kuntz was not enrolled at Notre Dame this semester and his availability for the 2008 season is very much in question as well.
With the apparent loss of Hand and the potential loss of Pat Kuntz, depth along the defensive line will be a serious concern for the Irish in 2008. At least one of the incoming freshmen defensive linemen will likely end up seeing some pretty extensive minutes.
In other news, cornerback Leo Ferrine, who was not invited back for a fifth year, has decided to transfer to DIAA Delaware next year to use up his final year of eligibility.
Ferrine is graduating from Notre Dame this spring and will likely pursue a master’s degree at Delaware, his father, also named Leo, said. Among the schools Ferrine had also considered was Hofstra.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Ferrine, 21, is from Springfield, N.J., and graduated from St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City. He was a third-team all-state safety and also excelled as a receiver.
At Notre Dame, Ferrine played 12 games as a red-shirt freshman in 2005 (starting against Purdue), 10 in 2006 (starting against Southern California) and six in 2007. He had 34 career tackles, with 26 solos.
As our talent in the defensive backfield began to improve under Weis’s recruiting, Ferrine’s playing time decreased. In 2005, as a true sophomore, Ferrine was the nickel back for the Notre Dame secondary, but over the last two seasons his playing time plummeted with the emergence of Terrail Lambert (2006), Darrin Walls (2007), and Raeshon McNeil (towards the end of 2007).
Good luck to Leo playing for the Fighting Blue Hens of Delaware.
Too bad we still don’t have Justin Tuck’s services. A stellar performance in the Super Bowl: 5 takles, 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
I agree, I am looking forward to watching Ethan Johnson play also. Tenuta should be a great addition and we need a special teams coach.
Well dont know yet. I will have to wait and see the B&G game. I hear good things how Williams is coming along at DT. I think Ethan Johnson is going to be a monster for us on the end. Former G-tech d coordinator Jon Tenuta joins the Irish. I hear great things about him and he seemed to play Brady Quinn pretty tough two years ago.
bleednd82, are Nuss and Nwankwo making progress?
JC -Mike Martin. Keep on praying. I know I am.
bleednd82, you’re right we need a DT. This is tough news. Do we even have any last minute possibilities?