Tearing your ACL once is devastating. Tearing it twice is unlucky. But tearing it three times? That’s a whole different level of misfortune.
However, that’s exactly what’s happened to Texas A&M defender Justin Dunning over the course of his football career. After tearing his ACL during fall camp last year, though, Dunning is once again on the field and will try to stay healthy for the 2017 season.
Speaking after practice on Friday, coach Kevin Sumlin got emotional when discussing Dunning’s return and how much he respects the redshirt sophomore’s toughness:
— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) August 5, 2017
“You saw me get emotional about the deal,” Sumlin says in the video when discussing Dunning’s injury. “It’s a deal where there’s not a better kid and for the ones that happen when nobody touches you you’re just like my goodness, and every time he’s battled back, something’s happened.”
Sumlin said the Aggies didn’t know if Dunning would play football again, but said it was important to him to leave the decision up to the player.
“I brought him in and told him I don’t blame you one bit if you didn’t want to play football. You’ll still have a scholarship to Texas A&M, you’re an Aggie,” Sumlin said. “I said you get your surgery, don’t worry about it, you make the decision [on whether to play again] yourself and don’t feel like this program or me as a coach is going to feel any less about you as a man.”
After taking it easy during spring practices, it seems Dunning is good to go for fall camp.
Here’s hoping he can stay healthy throughout the 2017 season.