Colorado State Rams coach Jay Norvell said Monday that senior safety Henry Blackburn has been receiving death threats since his late hit that hospitalized Colorado Buffaloes two-way star Travis Hunter.
Blackburn drew 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 at Folsom Field in Boulder. It was one of 17 penalties the Rams committed inin double overtime to the Buffs in front of a capacity crowd.
Norvell said Blackburn, who is from Boulder, and his family had their address posted on social media. He added that police have been involved due to the.
"It's sad that that's the state of the world we live in. It's a football game. Let's not make it more than that," Norvell said at his news conference. "We don't want anyone to get hurt. We don't coach that kind of football. I've been talking to Henry about that -- 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 be worried about that kind of nonsense."
CU Coach Deion Sanders said after the game that the 19th-ranked Buffaloes could befor several weeks. That means Hunter will miss the game against No. 10 Oregon in Eugene on Saturday and the one at home against No. 5 Southern Cal on Sept. 30.
"We will do what we must to take care of him," Sanders said. "We've got to make sure he is OK. His health is more important."
As he recovers from a lacerated liver, the football star took to social media Monday to update fans.
"He did what he was supposed to do. It's football. Something bad is going to happen on the field sooner or later. You just gotta get up and fight again. That's what I try to do. Get up and fight," said Hunter in the video.
Norvell reviewed the play and concluded that "it's a play that happens sometimes."
"When you throw a deep ball and you've got a guy playing middle safety, he's got to react on the boundary and he's going full speed, it was a bang-bang type of a play," Norvell said. "It's certainly not something that we teach or coach. It happens in football sometimes. Seems to have been a lot of attention about that play, but it's a play that happens."
Ryan Harris, NFL veteran and Super Bowl 50 Champion, says he believes Blackburn should've been ejected.
"There's enough time to get the violence in between the whistles and when you take it outside of that, you're really showing that the other team got into your head," said Harris.
He says Norvell mustand responsibility to his team.
"Football is a violent sport and what makes it fun is when you play within the guidelines of the game and anytime you go outside of that you really are disrespecting the game and all the hard work everybody puts in. Not just coaches and players but, broadcasts and media and the schools hosting it," said Harris.
Jasper Armstrong, a former l defensive end for the Rams, says it's always an emotionally charged battle.
"I dont think he was trying to hurt him," said Armstrong. "Just like what we tell these kids out here in little league, play through the echo of the whistle and when that whistle blows you stop. I think that's how everyone was trying to play."
Norvell added: "I hope Travis gets healthy and gets back out there. We certainly don't want to see anybody get hurt."
Shedeur Sanders took exception to the blow by Blackburn along the Colorado sideline and confronted Blackburn.
"When Travis went down, it made me feel some type of way honestly. You took one of my brothers on offense, so it really hurt me," said Shedeur Sanders, who led the Buffaloes on a game-tying 98-yard touchdown drive in the final minute of regulation and threw for touchdowns in both overtimes. "Knowing the work he put in and everything just leading up to the game and knowing you could always count on him in those moments."
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