Doc Five: Spring game revelations – No. 4, the injury bug hits a few teams

Frank Schwab

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

SPRING GAME REVELATIONS

NO. 4, THE INJURY BUG HITS A FEW TEAMS

There can't be many worse feelings as a football player than suffering a major injury in spring football.

No injuries are fun, obviously. Suffering a major injury in the heat of the game is more understandable than in a practice six months before the season opener.

And for the teams who suddenly have holes in the lineup to fill because of an injury in March or April, it's a tough blow for them as well.

The most notable injury of the spring was probably Arizona receiver Austin Hill.

The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist tore his ACL at practice. He had 81 catches for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore last year. The injury is a huge blow for the Wildcats' offense, and for Hill.

“It just makes me sick, because he was such a great player. But he still will be,” Rodriguez said, according to the Tucson Citizen. “I don’t know when his time frame is to return, but he’ll be back bigger and stronger with the way technology is today and all that. I really felt bad for him. I know Austin is a tough, strong guy, and he’ll bounce back.”

Hill was probably the biggest star to suffer a likely season-ending injury, but he wasn't the only significant player to go down in spring.

Michigan, Clemson and Colorado all lost quarterbacks to ACL injuries. Russell Bellomy's knee injury leaves the Wolverines very thin at quarterback behind Devin Gardner. The same goes for Clemson, which lost quarterback Chad Kelly, giving the Tigers just two scholarship quarterbacks. Colorado lost Jordan Webb, who got hurt in a non-contact drill. Webb led Colorado to its only win last season.

Clemson lost two players to knee injuries in the spring game. Starting tight end Sam Cooper tore his ACL as well. That's a tough afternoon for the Tigers' offense.

Alabama dealt with a few injuries during the spring. The most serious might have been to linebacker Trey DePriest, a starter who suffered a broken foot, and running back Derrick Henry suffered a broken fibula. Both should return by training camp. Florida also had injury issues during spring, especially to the offensive line. The Gators were down to six healthy offensive linemen during spring ball. Tackle Trip Thurman had shoulder surgery and could return for fall camp.

There were others around the country. Wisconsin defensive end/outside linebacker David Gilbert retired because of foot injuries. USC receiver George Farmer tore his ACL and MCL. Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell tore the meniscus in his right knee, although he should be back for training camp. Many others have various ailments they hope heal over the summer.

That list doesn't even count off-field issues like suspensions for Iowa State defensive end Willie Scott and Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, one of the best tight ends in college football, for arrests.

It's football, and injuries happen. But when a major injury hits in spring, it seems to sting just a little bit more.

Previously on "Doc Five"
5. Oklahoma, USC, Florida State undecided at QB

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