Travin Dural wishes he could have landed differently.
He’s rewatched the play countless times.
What’s he see? Himself leaping for a high pass and then flipping over the top of Ole Miss cornerback Kendarius Webster, landing on his back, his legs extending over his head.
That’s when his hamstring popped – completely – off of his leg bone.
“It was just hanging,” he said Tuesday.
Five months later, the LSU receiver is nearing full recovery from that torn hamstring – and subsequent surgery to reattach the ligament. He’s running routes, lifting weights – even squatting – and making cuts just fine.
He won’t play in LSU’s spring game Saturday, and he’s only watched practice from the side. His rehabilitation will run through May. That’s just in time for him to join teammates during summer workouts. It’s also too long for him to have given much thought to leaving early for the NFL draft.
Draft eligible after the 2014 season (he redshirted as a freshman), Dural passed on the draft. He passed on it again after his junior season last year. The injury – and its six-month recovery time – was a factor.
“I wasn’t sure how long the process was going to take,” he said. “To be safe and make sure it was healed fully, it would have been best for me to come back.”
Dural’s hamstring surgery lasted about two hours. Doctors reattached the loose tendon to the bone. The post-surgery pain, Dural said, was much more severe than the “tingling” he felt after suffering the injury during the first half of LSU’s November 21 loss at Ole Miss.
He entered that game as LSU’s leading receiver, a go-to target for quarterback Brandon Harris. Harris threw high of Dural on a crossing pattern across the end zone. The receiver leaped into the air, fully extended, and landed on the back of Webster, flipping over the cornerback and crashing to the ground.
“Tried to walk off the field,” Dural said. “Couldn’t really walk. Couldn’t take long steps. The pain wasn’t as bad as it was after surgery. I could have walked and what not. I didn’t think it was anything serious.”
He had the surgery four days after the injury.
“It’s a tough injury,” receivers coach Dameyune Craig said earlier this spring. “I don’t know of any football players I can recall that’s had the same injury. It actually came off (the bone).”
Four months later, here he is watching spring practice from the sideline and, every now and then, running routes with teammates.
Oh – and he still watches that clip of him tumbling over Webster.
“I was just watching it the other day, trying to see if I could have done something different to prevent what happened,” Dural said. “I watched it a bunch. Too many times.”
Brumfield battles back from another injury
At 8-year old, Garrett Brumfield’s father delivered to him a message: “If you play at a high level, you’re going to get hurt.”
Brumfield chalks his ankle injuries up to that.
The former University High standout and LSU’s rising redshirt sophomore is fresh off recovering from a second ankle injury in about seven months. The first one slowed his progress in preseason camp in August. This one – to the opposite ankle – is hampering a spring practice in which he’s battling for a starting job.
“It’s a little frustrating,” he said, “but it’s part of the game.”
Brumfield is working at both guard spots, and, with Will Clapp and Ethan Pocic sidelined, he’s running with the first-string unit – despite that pesky ankle. He rolled the ankle during the first week of spring practice and missed about four of LSU’s 14 practices.
“It’s healing up really good,” he said. “I was just being patient waiting to get back out there. I’m ready to get back in and move forward with the rest of the line.”
Brumfield and Josh Boutte appear to be battling for a starting guard spot on an offensive line that’s taking shape a few days before the spring game.
Maea Teuhema is at left tackle, and Brumfield is at left guard. Boutte is primarily playing right guard, and Toby Weathersby and K.J. Malone are alternating at right tackle. Clapp is expected to be LSU’s starting left guard this season if Teuhema can secure the left tackle spot, and Pocic, presumably, would return to center in that scenario.
That leaves a guard spot open for Boutte or Brumfield.
Game Day going to Lambeau?
ESPN College Game Day could be heading to Lambeau Field for the LSU and Wisconsin season opener on Sept. 3, according to Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez.
ESPN Milwaukee tweeted Tuesday that Alvarez made the announcement at an awards banquet. ESPN has not announced the trip.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.