The Colorado Buffaloes suffered a huge blow Saturday night in the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State. Two-way player Travis Hunter absorbed a brutal late hit from safety Henry Blackburn that caused the junior to leave the game early.
The Jackson State transfer has been a major force for the Buffs on both sides of the ball this season. The loss of the standout will hurt Colorado immensely.
The Colorado Buffaloes are facing a potentially long injury absence for star two-way player Travis Hunter. The Jackson State transfer has dominated for head coach Deion Sanders on both sides of the ball through the first two games, and looked poised to be a Heisman contender until he was knocked out of Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown with a late hit from CSU safety Henry Blackburn.
The play occurred in the first quarter as Hunter ran a go route down the left sideline. He appeared to be open as quarterback Shedeur Sanders fired the ball his way, but Blackburn was able to run across and level Hunter. The Buffs’ top cornerback and receiver was taken to the turf in obvious pain, and was unable to return to the game.
CU didn’t disclose the nature of Hunter’s injuries, but it appears that the hit to his midsection was severe enough to warrant an immediate trip to the hospital. Hunter is a two-way talent that plays both wide receiver and cornerback, so the loss of this top talent could be devastating for the Buffs’ offense and defense.
Following the game, CU head coach Deion Sanders didn’t divulge too much about Hunter’s condition, instead putting his player’s health above all else. He did say that Hunter would be out for “a few weeks,” but that it was too early to know the extent of the injury and if it was serious or not.
CU Head Coach Deion Sanders
CU coach Deion Sanders is a man of many talents and accomplishments. He is also a coach for an era that sees few Black head coaches at the highest levels of college football. He talks openly about getting players to the NFL, securing NIL deals and turning boys into men.
But he also knows the risks of playing through pain. After all, he suffered a series of blood clots in his leg that led to amputation surgery and a painful recovery. He spent two years using knee-scooters, golf carts and bicycles to get around campus.
That’s why he is so determined to make his return to the game with the Buffaloes on Saturday, when he plans to walk out of the tunnel with his team. Sanders said that he has been working to build up his strength and endurance over the summer in order to be able to stand for three hours during a game.
He won’t have to wait long. The Buffaloes’ 2023 season opens at TCU on Sept. 2. The team boasts 86 new players, most of them recruited from high school or the transfer portal. It will be the biggest roster since Sanders took over at CU in December of 2022.
CU Head Coach Mike Mathis
Hunter is Colorado’s top two-way player and one of the most exciting players in college football. He was a key contributor in both phases of the game Saturday night against Colorado State. He was making a route run on the left side when safety Henry Blackburn leveled him with a vicious hit. It was clearly illegal, and the Buffs didn’t reveal whether it resulted in a concussion or something more serious. Read more news on digitalpointpro.com
The team did say that the two-way star was taken to a hospital for “further evaluation,” which fueled speculation that his injury might be more serious than initially believed. Violent hits to the ribcage can lead to many different types of injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage. It’s important that teams recognize the potential risks of such hits, and they should never resort to such tactics.
After the game, CU head coach Deion Sanders said that he wasn’t sure exactly what had happened to Hunter. However, he did emphasize that the team’s top priority was ensuring Hunter’s health.
Hunter, who transferred from Jackson State this season, has been an outstanding addition to the CU offense and defense. He has already played 274 snaps this year, and he has recorded 14 tackles and seven pass breakups. He also has two catches for 21 yards on offense.
CU Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
The injury to CU star two-way player Travis Hunter has raised concerns about the safety of players in today’s game. The hit that knocked him out of the game against in-state rival Colorado State was a hard one and he was taken to the hospital for evaluation. The team did not disclose the extent of the injury and Coach Deion Sanders emphasized that the player’s well-being takes precedence over the game.
The 58-year-old Rodriguez has led West Virginia and Michigan to winning seasons in his three NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision head coaching assignments and he is credited with helping introduce the up-tempo read-option offense to major college football during his tenure at the Mountaineers. His teams won Big East championships in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and appeared in two BCS bowl games.
Each Thursday he sends out an injury report that is virtually identical to the N.F.L.’s, listing players as probable, questionable, doubtful or out. His practice has led some to suggest that coaches in the Pac-12 should adopt it. However, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said he will wait until a meeting with his athletic directors to discuss it. He is expected to make a recommendation on the matter next week. The Atlantic Coast Conference already has adopted a similar policy. The system also helps limit repetitive questions at news conferences by referring reporters to the injury report.
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