Colorado State coach Jay Norvell said Monday that senior safety Henry Blackburn has received death threats since his late hit that hospitalized Colorado two-way star Travis Hunter.
Blackburn was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Saturday night for the blow he delivered to Hunter’s midsection on a deep pass in the first quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown. It was one of 17 penalties the Rams committed in their 43-35 double-overtime loss to Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes in front of a capacity crowd.
Norvell said Blackburn, a Boulder native, and his family posted their address on social media. He added that the police intervened because of the seriousness of the threats.
“It’s sad that this is the state of the world we live in.” It’s a football match. Let’s not go any further,” Norvell said during his press conference. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We don’t coach that kind of football. I talked to Henry about it – I talked to him last night and I talked to him today.
“This kid should be worried about going to school and getting ready to play football. He shouldn’t worry about this kind of nonsense.
Sanders said after the game, the 19th-ranked Buffaloes could be without Hunter for several weeks. That means Hunter will miss the game against No. 10 Oregon in Eugene on Saturday and the home game against No. 5 Southern Cal on Sept. 30.
“We will do what it takes to take care of him,” Sanders said. “We need to make sure he’s okay.” His health is more important.
Several media outlets reported that Hunter had a lacerated liver.
This is a big blow for the Buffaloes because Hunter rarely leaves the field. He entered the Heisman Trophy discussion by being a blocking cornerback and reliable receiver. Hunter has one interception and nine tackles on defense this season. He also caught 16 passes for 213 yards from quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
Hunter attempted to continue playing after the hit, but was ruled out in the second half and was taken to the hospital.
Norvell reviewed the play and concluded that “it’s a play that happens sometimes.”
“When you throw a deep ball and you have a guy playing safety, he has to react on the boundary and he goes full speed, it was a bang-bang type play,” Norvell said. “It’s definitely not something we teach or coach. This happens sometimes in football. It seems like this play got a lot of attention, but it’s a play that happens.
Norvell added: “I hope Travis is healthy and gets back out there. We certainly don’t want to see anyone get hurt.
Shedeur Sanders opposed Blackburn’s hit along the Colorado sideline and confronted Blackburn.
“When Travis fell, it made me feel some kind of feeling honestly. You took one of my brothers on offense, so that really hurt me,” said Shedeur Sanders, who led the Buffaloes on a 98-yard game-tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation and threw touchdowns in the two extensions. “Knowing the work he put in and everything leading up to the game and knowing that you could always count on him in those moments.”
This late success attracted the attention of several athletes on social networks, including the Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James who posted: “As if I don’t understand the difference between targeting and what I just witnessed.” I’ve seen others get fired for much less money. This was blatant and unjustified IMO! »
Hall of Famer Champ Bailey, who played both ways at Georgia, said it’s risky playing both offense and defense, especially playing almost every snap.
“You have a target on you,” Bailey said Sunday during the Washington Commanders-Denver Broncos game. “When people see you on the field all the time, they pick on you.”
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