Mike Ragone Out for the Year

Notre Dame suffered it’s first major injury of the year this week when it was discovered that starting tight end Mike Ragone had a partial tear of his ACL.  The sophomore tight end tried to play through the injury with the help of a practice, but decided to shut it down and get it fixed according to a release from Charlie Weis.

This summer, while running routes, Mike tweaked his knee and partially tore his left ACL. His two options were to have the knee fixed immediately or to brace it and try to play. He understood that eventually the knee would have to be fixed and he was hoping to do it at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

Mike had continued to practice, but felt his progress had deteriorated. Thursday afternoon, Mike came to me and decided that having the surgery done now prior to the start of school would be best. Together with Jim Russ and our team doctors, we quickly arranged surgery for late Friday morning. The surgery was successful and Mike will spend the 2008 season rehabbing to be ready for the 2009 season.

This is terrible news for both Notre Dame and Mike Ragone.  Ragone was primed for a breakout season and his loss leaves Notre Dame with just one scholarship tight end who has seen any extensive action.  Junior fullback/tight end hybrid Luke Schmidt and true freshmen Kyle Rudolp and Joseph Fauria will now need to play a much more prominent role in the TE rotation than originally planned.

For Ragone, this is his second major injury in two years.  He missed his entire senior season at Camden Catholic with a knee injury and now has a partial tear of his ACL.   ACL’s are very tough to recover from so here’s hoping Mike has a full recovery and is back on the field for the Irish next year.

UPDATE: I just posted an article on the homepage regarding the loss of Ragone and what it means to our depth at tight end this year.

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  1. Not to be a take focus from the immediate issue, but the skill players are deep at ND and not really an issue other than finding out who has the mental toughness to play and step up consistently under pressure.
    The big and undiscussed total issue, is how physical will the offensive line be? You here about Joe Moore and Joe Yonto, from old timers and you wonder whether the modern methods work with this scheme or these players. Listen to Aaron Taylor, who should be an ND assistant by now, talk about the character building and toughness taught by those guys and you wonder what happened to that knowledge. A lot of articles are being written about the skilled players, but until the O-line and D-line dominate like they did before 1994, and it won’t matter much what the pretty boys do.
    Nothing happens with dominance on the line of scrimmage.

  2. Big loss here – I thought Walls loss was bad but Ragone appeared to have a lot of needed energy and emotion for the Irish! Well – like weis says just plug someone else in and get R Done! Hey – does anybody know who #12 is supposed to be on the back of this years Shirt?

  3. There’s also the little matter of his 4.4 speed and ability to get deeper in the secondary quicker than most TE’s.

  4. A big loss…but maybe a big opportunity. From the scouting videos I’ve seen of Rudolph, I’m dying to see this kid out on the field. His height will maybe him a big target for Jimmy, as long as he can return the favor by improving the pass-blocking, which, I think, is the biggest loss with Ragone gone.

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