WR Torii Hunter Jr. (concussion) expects to play vs. Michigan State

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Torii Hunter Jr. said he expects to play in No. 18 Notre Dame's game against No. 12 Michigan Stateon Saturday after the Fighting Irish receiver sustained a concussion in Week 1.

"I'm fairly confident, because [Tuesday] I did everything that they would allow me to do, and I pushed myself [Tuesday]," Hunter said Wednesday. "A couple one-on-ones, 7-on-7s, 11-on-11s. I went out there and did as much as I could and just tried to be smart about falling on the ground and keeping my head up, blocking plays and things like that.

"So, as the week goes on, I'll definitely try to push myself more and see what I can do, and I'm confident I'll be ready come Saturday."

Hunter, who said he was medically cleared this past Sunday, sustained the concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the end zone late in the third quarter of Notre Dame's 50-47 double-overtime loss Sept. 4 at Texas.

"It was my first one that I've told them about, or that they've known about, that I've actually lost consciousness and all that," Hunter said. "So, yeah, it was my first one that I've experienced. It was a real experience, but I'm glad to be back."

The play was not flagged and not even reviewed, despite new rules this season that allow targeting penalties to be called retroactively. The absence of such consequences stoked anger from Irish coach Brian Kelly and his players in the aftermath of the game.

Hunter said Wednesday that he wasn't sure if the hit warranted a penalty, but he did say the play deserved to be reviewed. The junior and captain also said Texas safeties DeShon Elliott and Kevin Vaccaro messaged him on Twitter to apologize for the hit. Elliott had delivered the direct hit, while Vaccaro was in on the play as well.

Hunter said he remembered everything leading up to the hit but the hit itself, adding that he recalled going down steps into the locker room after being helped off the field.

"I remember catching the ball, having it in my hands," Hunter said. "As soon as I got hit, I don't remember any of that, and I don't remember being on the ground."

The son of the former MLB outfielder by the same name, Hunter has 39 career catches for 465 yards and four touchdowns.
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