On no level whatsoever is this isn’t even remotely fair.
Donevin O’Reilly originally walked on to the UConn football team just after the start of the 2017 season — he carried the ball once and returned a pair of kickoffs last year — before breaking out during spring practice earlier this offseason, not only earning a scholarship from the university this month but also claiming a majority of the reps with the No. 1 offense during summer camp. Unfortunately for the running back, however, his Cinderella season is over before it ever got started as Randy Edsall confirmed Wednesday that O’Reilly has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
O’Reilly sustained the non-contact injury Monday during a special teams drill. He’ll undergo surgery Friday to repair the damage and will be sidelined for all of 2018.
“That’s the stuff as a coach that it’s like, ‘why?’” Edsall said by way of the Hartford Courant. “That kid put so much into it, he’s worked extremely hard. He was really the No. 1 tailback, and to see him go down, I just feel for him.”
O’Reilly’s injury is the second significant blow to the Huskies’ backfield this month. Less than two weeks ago, Nate Hopkins, who led the team in rushing touchdowns with seven a year ago, abruptly left the squad after deciding to transfer.
The Courant notes that, “[w]ith O’Reilly out and Hopkins gone, [redshirt] freshman Zavier Scott will assume the bulk of UConn’s carries, with sophomore Kevin Mensah the likely backup.” Mensah’s 561 yards rushing last season were tops on the Huskies, while Scott, raised in a military family, spent his junior and senior seasons at a high school in Germany before coming to UConn in 2017 as a wide receiver.