Notre Dame redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. was selected in the 23rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft on Saturday by the Los Angeles Angels, a team for which his father played for five years.
Hunter completed his second season as an outfielder Notre Dame's baseball team last month and hit .182 with a .308 on-base percentage and .182 slugging percentage in 11 at-bats over 19 games. He was mostly used as a defensive replacement and pinch runner and stole two bases on two attempts for Mik Aoki's Irish, which also saw infielder Cavan Biggio -- the son of Houston Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio -- drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. During the spring, Hunter made a highlight-reel catch in right field for Notre Dame's baseball team against Florida State, and his one-handed grab of a Malik Zaire deep ball was the highlight of April's Blue and Gold game.
Torii Hunter Sr. made the announcement that the Angels had picked his son on Saturday.
Hunter Jr. will be counted on to be a go-to target for either DeShone Kizer or Zaire this fall and is the team's leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns in 2015 (him being drafted as a baseball player does not change his status with the football team this fall). He was roundly praised as being among the more impressive players during Notre Dame's spring practice, a feat made even more incredible due to his splitting of time between football, baseball and classwork.
"He could have taken the easy way out here, right -- he could have said, hey, I'm playing baseball, I can't make it this weekend. I've got a doubleheader," coach Brian Kelly said in April. "But no, he would go to practice and then he would go into a phone booth and throw on his Superman cape and head on over to the baseball field.
"It's amazing what he does in terms of the intensity in which he practices and how hard he goes, and then he does the same thing for Mik. He's a unique young man in that he can focus and give that kind of intensity to both sports."
The Navy-Notre Dame football game that was set to be played in Ireland has been relocated to the United States, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that the game which was originally going to take place in Dublin on Aug. 29 will “likely” be played over Labor Day weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday.
The teams plan on playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which will be a first in the 94-year rivalry history. Every previous matchup hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.
“I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.”
Jack Swarbrick, Vice President of Notre Dame, and James E. Rorh, Director of Athletics at Notre made a joint statement as well.
“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” they said. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”
RELATED: Notre Dame will allow students back on campus this fall
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Notre Dame University announced on Monday that it will welcome students back on campus on August 10. That’s two weeks earlier than the fall semester was initially scheduled to begin. In addition, Notre Dame will forgo a fall break in October, and will instead end the semester before Thanksgiving.
In the announcement Notre Dame said they consulted with experts for months to develop their plan to welcome students back onto campus.
The plan to return includes comprehensive COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff. It also includes contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces.
“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” Notre Dame’s president Rev. John I. Jenkins wrote in a letter to students. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed. We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”
Father Jenkins also wrote that the university is currently developing a plan to reopen research labs, studios and libraries in coming weeks.
In case of an outbreak, or if the university is unable to provide adequate testing, Notre Dame faculty have been asked to prepare both in-person and remote curricula for their classes. The remote curricula would also help any student keep up with classwork if they need to be quarantined.
The university is also developing criteria to determine whether or not to offer study abroad programs in the fall. That decision will be announced in June.
Notre Dame sent home all students in mid-March to complete their spring semesters remotely. They also canceled all summer classes, except for a small number of students who needed to complete summer work to prepare for the fall semester.