Torii Hunter Jr., son of Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter and fifth-best receiver in the 2013 college football recruiting class, broke his femur in a U.S. Army All-American Bowl workout a few days ago.
Hunter Jr. caught 71 passes for 1,235 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior year of high school.
This injury will not only affect his chances at a successful college football career, but could even ruin his chances to play professional baseball. Reports are saying Hunter Jr. will miss six to eight months of action, and possibly up to a year to fully recover from the injury.
This could be a fairly big blow to the Irish. If Hunter Jr. can’t get on the field early in his career, it may not be as big of a deal, as he can be red-shirted. However, if for some reason the youngster can’t be as explosive post-injury, the Irish could have already lost a future star.
Leg injuries, much like knee injuries, can not only affect the way a player plays the game physically, but also emotionally. Assuming everything heals the way it is supposed to, Hunter Jr. can still be affected emotionally by the injury by over protecting his leg or worrying about re-injuring it. If a player is afraid to play the game, he can hold himself back.
It can be very tough to bounce back from an injury of this nature, especially so early in a player’s career. He hasn’t even played a college game yet, and he’s already been carted off. This will be interesting to see if Hunter Jr. will be as injury prone this makes him look.
It will also be interesting to see if this leads Hunter Jr. to baseball, where he’s less likely to take contact to his injured leg.