With high-flying Clemson and its high-powered offense looming on the horizon, one of the key pieces of Florida State’s defensive secondary officially won’t step foot on the field again in 2013.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed Tuesday that safety Tyler Hunter underwent surgery Monday to repair a bulging disc in his neck. Because of the injury and surgery, Hunter’s 2013 season has ended.
Hunter suffered the injury in the blowout win over Bethune-Cookman late last month.
The decision to have Hunter undergo surgery didn’t come lightly, with Fisher stating that the school sought the opinions of several specialists before a determination was made that this was the proper medical tack for the player to take.
“You don’t ever know,” Fisher said. “When you get into the neck, until they go in there — that’s why we sent them to the best people in the world, the top people who do the NFL stuff and see tons of them.”
In a tweet posted on his Twitter account, Hunter vowed a return in 2014.
After tying for the team lead in interceptions in 2012 as a nickel cornerback, Hunter started the first three games this year at safety. He’s been replaced in the starting lineup by true freshman Jalen Ramsey, who’s expected to continue the starting role he’s held the past two games.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.
One of the most productive pass-catching duos in the country has been cut in half.
Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery confirmed Tuesday that Keevan Lucas sustained a torn patellar tendon in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Houston. As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
“He’s such an emotional leader for us and such a great kid,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments offensively and move some people around and try to make sure we’ve got guys in the right spot but also guys who will step up and be ready to play.”
Lucas is currently second on the team with 26 receptions and 409 receiving yards, behind Keyarris Garrett‘s 33 and 539. His five receiving touchdowns, though, are tops on the team.
Montgomery expects Lucas to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice next year.