Travis Hunter could be back sooner than planned.
A week after pumping the brakes on the return of his two-way star, CU Buffs football coach Deion Sanders said Tuesday at his weekly news conference that there’s a “serious chance” Hunter, his cornerback/wide receiver, could play against 1-4 Stanford on Friday night at Folsom Field.
“It goes by how he looks, how he performs in practice,” Sanders said of Hunter, who returned to practice recently. “He has to be in shape. I don’t want him to be a liability. I want him to be a tremendous asset.”
Hunter, a sophomore transfer from Jackson State, hasn’t played since the first half of the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State on Sept. 16. The defensive back left the game after taking a first-half hit from the Rams’ Henry Blackburn, a shot that drew ire for Blackburn and his family through social media. Hunter reportedly suffered a lacerated liver on the play.
Sanders said last week that his preference was to keep Hunter sidelined until the Buffs’ game at UCLA on Oct. 28, as CU (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) has a bye next weekend. But Hunter had been pushing his coach for a chance to get back onto the field for much of the last three weeks.
“He wouldn’t be practicing if he wasn’t cleared (by doctors),” Sanders said. “I hope he can play.”