BOONE — Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz confirmed Nov. 25 that receiver Corey Sutton has a torn ACL in is knee and is out for the season.
Drinkwitz said that Sutton was injured during the Mountaineers’ 35-13 win over visiting Texas State on Nov. 23.
Sutton, a junior from Charlotte, was hurt in the second quarter after catching a pass. He finished the game with two receptions, one for a 45-yard touchdown.
“Corey suffered a torn ACL and that is a big loss to our football team,” Drinkwitz said. “I hurt for him personally. He was establishing his dominance in the conference, but I am grateful that he will be back for us next season. We’re excited to help him along with his recovery and know he’ll be back better than ever.”
Sutton made the initial announcement about his knee on his Twitter page on Nov. 24. “Dear App Nation. It hurts me to inform you that I will be out for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear.” Sutton wrote on Twitter. “I truly appreciate all the love and support you guys continue to bring. This will not be a setback, but a way to show my work ethic, mentality and how I’m really built. My teammates know I am their biggest supporter as we still have a lot of business to handle.”
Sutton, in nine games, caught 41 passes for 601 yards and seven touchdowns. He arrived to App State after transferring from Kansas State. After playing in his freshman season Sutton missed a season on the field because of NCAA transfer rules.
Sutton was All-Sun Belt Conference in his sophomore season after finishing the season with 44 catches for 773 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Drinkwitz said the injury should not have any bearings on Sutton’s status next season, but did not know for sure exactly when Sutton would be ready to play.
“Every ACL surgery and recovery is different,” Drinkwitz said. “It depends on the rehab, but typically six to nine months. Everyone is different, but there is no indication to think that he would not be back ready to go next season.”
Jalen Virgil moves up the depth chart into Sutton’s position in Appalachian State’s primary three-receiver set. Virgil caught three passes for 26 yards against Texas State and has caught 15 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve always had a lot of confidence in Jalen,” Drinkwitz said. “He’s a guy who has got great speed and nice hands. He has played a lot of football for us and has packages in every game. He’s had some big-time games and plays for us in weeks one, two and three, so we anticipate no real change in where we’re going.”
App State can also go to Malik Williams, who leads the team with 45 catches. He has also gained 518 yards and scored two touchdowns.
The Mountaineers also have Thomas Hennigan, who caught 43 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns. Keishawn Watson also has caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown he scored against Texas State.
Drinkwitz said the Mountaineers would revert back to the first week of the season, when Sutton was not available to play because of a two-week suspension he served for disciplinary reasons.
“We go back to weeks one and two,” Drinkwitz said.