Late in camp, senior receiver Jimmie Hunt suffered a hamstring injury, one that caused him to sit out the team’s final fall scrimmage.
The season opener Saturday against South Dakota State is a game of lesser magnitude, and the speculation has been that Hunt would be limited during the game. Coach Gary Pinkel said that is not the case.
“(Hunt) practiced really well yesterday,” Pinkel said. “I think he’ll be at 100 percent. Rex Sharp, our athletic trainer, does a real good job. Coming off those hamstring injuries, guys will usually be held out a little bit longer.”
Hunt, a senior, has high expectations coming into this season. This will be his first year atop the depth chart. Last season, Hunt caught 22 passes for 253 yards, including three touchdowns.
Freshman Lawrence Lee replaced Hunt in the Tigers’ final scrimmage Aug. 21. Lee flashed some signs of potential, earning rave reviews from older receivers.
Lee will likely see some playing time against South Dakota State. As one of five true freshmen on the week one depth chart, he impressed during camp. Pinkel rewarded him and fellow freshman receiver Nate Brown with spots on the depth chart, meaning they won’t be redshirted this season.
“(Lee) is a young guy with tremendous explosiveness,” Hunt said. “He’s very talented and not afraid to jump into the fire. When we tell him what to do, he’s been handling that well and I think we’ll see the result on Saturday.”
Since he has been held back due to his injury, some expected Hunt and sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk to have lost some chemistry, but Hunt said that the two are clearly on the same page.