Tyler Hunter lost for the season with a neck injury
FSU safety Tyler Hunter is done for the season, head coach Jimbo Fisher announced after Tuesday's practice.
Hunter, a 6-foot, 194-pound junior defensive back, suffered a neck injury during the Seminoles' Sept. 21 game against Bethune Cookman and has not practiced or played since. His injury was originally announced as a neck contusion. On Tuesday, Fisher said Hunter underwent surgery for a bulging disc in his neck in Chicago. Hunter is anticipated to make a full recovery, Fisher said. FSU went through a lengthy evaluation process with Hunter, and Fisher said a number of different specialists were called in.
"He's extremely excited," Fisher said of Hunter. "Down but excited at the same time."
Because he is a true junior and has not played beyond 30 percent of this season, Hunter will be eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver (commonly referred to as a medical redshirt). If granted, he should be able to return in 2014 as a redshirt junior with two more years of eligibility.
"It crushed us all," fellow safety Terrence Brooks said. "To see him not be able to come out on the field, after all the work he put in and all the film he watched. ... he literally laid his body on the line for the team."
Hunter has six career starts in the Seminole secondary including the first three games this season. In those three games he had eight tackles and one interception.
During FSU's game at Boston College and against Maryland this past Saturday, freshman Jalen Ramsey slid into his starting spot at safety and P.J. Williams lined up at cornerback.
"We've been cross-training (Ramsey) for a long time," Fisher said. "That's why we do that all the time, because you never know."
The injury comes on the eve of FSU's game against pass-happy Clemson with heisman candidate at quarterback in Tahj Boyd. But Fisher said the Seminoles remain comfortable with Ramsey at safety, and with the extra bye week to prepare.
"We feel very good about where he's at," Fisher said. "We don't think there's anything he has to do to catch up, but (the bye week) does help."
Hunter signed with FSU in 2011 out of Valdosta, Ga. (Lowndes HS).