Will Muschamp made news Saturday in his defense of D.J. Durkin, but as for actual on-the-field news, that wasn’t the newsiest portion of his appearance with the media.
Muschamp revealed that defensive tackle Tyreek Johnson and running back Caleb Kinlaw have each been lost for the season to ACL tears.
While there’s never a good time to lose a year to injury, the ACL tear happens to come at a significantly better time for Johnson than Kinlaw. Johnson is a true freshman while Kinlaw is a fifth-year senior.
“Really hurt for Caleb being a senior,” Muschamp told The Big Spur. “Planted on his foot and knee gave out. He’s a very good special teams contributor for us.”
A Goose Creek, S.C., native, Kinlaw signed with Wisconsin out of high school but later transferred back home by way of Mississippi’s Pearl River Community College. He played in 12 games in 2017 but saw action just once at running back, notching four carries for 27 yards in a win over Wofford. Kinlaw also endured injury difficulties during his two years in Madison, so Saturday’s news is an especially bitter way for his college career to end, unless Kinlaw receives a waiver to play a sixth year.
Johnson, however, still has a bright future as a Gamecock ahead of him.
“He’s going to be a really good player for us,” Muschamp said. “Frustrating for him because he tore his labrum, shoulder, his senior year of high school. He delayed his enrollment so he could rehab it, then had this happen. He had a fantastic spring, but this is just a speed bump for him.”