Day Has Torn ACL

North Little Rock senior tailback Juan Day (6-1, 210) becomes the second Arkansas commitment to suffer a season-ending injury so far this campaign as results of an MRI taken Monday reveal he has a torn ACL - same as 2015 Razorback OL pledge and Texas junior prep standout Zach Rogers.

The worst fears of the North Little Rock football program regarding star tailback Juan Day came to fruition on Tuesday morning.

That's when results of an MRI taken late Monday afternoon showed that Day (6-1, 210) – a 2014 Arkansas commitment – had suffered a torn ACL in Friday night's game at Pine Bluff and would be lost for the rest of the 2013 season.

"I figured that was going to be the case when it first happened," Day said Tuesday night. "I planted my left foot and felt it and then I got tackled by two guys.

"I am just going to try and keep my head up, get ready to rehab it and make sure I am on the sidelines on Friday nights supporting my team," Day added. "I am going to work hard and be ready to play when I get to Arkansas."

It was the second time in three years that North Little Rock head coach Brad Bolding lost a star to the injury with current Alabama freshman Altee Tenpenny missing his entire junior season due to the same injury.

"You hate it for any kid, but especially one like Juan, who is just one of the nicest and high-character kids that you are ever going to meet and have the privilege to coach," Bolding said Tuesday morning.

"He is a first-class young man and a great football player and I know that he is going to put in the work and come back stronger," Bolding added. "There are guys like (NFL star) Adrian Peterson and others who have had this happen and come back to be even better players.

"I am sure that is going to be the case with Juan," Bolding said. "He will have the surgery and then start concentrating on his rehab and his college career."

Day, who had rushed for 35 times for 294 yards and caught 3 passes for 80 yards in his first two games this season, suffered the non-contact injury in the first quarter of Friday night's 35-14 win in the rain at Pine Bluff.

He had already ripped off touchdown runs of 14 and 3 yards against the Zebras before going down with the injury.

"It wasn't even a play where he was being tackled," Bolding said. "He got the ball and was making a cut and it just happened. It was on a rainy night and just one of those freak things, I just hate it so much for him."

Day had the chance to talk to Arkansas' coaches on Friday night after the injury.

"They just told me to keep my head up, that they would be praying for me and that I still had my scholarship," Day said. "They just wanted to reassure me that everything was going to be okay and not to worry, just get better and come to Arkansas next year."

"It's a time where they can't call him, but I knew they would want to talk to him and so I had him call them," Bolding said. "They were very supportive and told him they would be there for him 100 percent and looked forward to having him with them next year and better than ever."

Bolding noted that the Arkansas coaches had indeed been very supportive.

It was an early bitter ending to a season for Day, who was expected to have a big season while leading the Charging Wildcats on a Class 7A state title run.

He rushed for 915 yards and scored 13 touchdowns as a junior while splitting carries with Tenpenny last season and was poised to get the bulk of his team's rushes this season.

"I just hate it for him and hate it for his parents," Bolding said. "I am sure he will get great care from the doctors around here and no doubt they will be in contact with the Arkansas doctors for any advice.

"It's my understanding that these days it is about a four- to five-month rehab," Bolding added. "I know the one thing that anyone will not have to worry about is Juan putting in the hard work. He will do that and be back stronger than ever."

This is the second major injury suffered by a Razorback 2014 or 2015 commit since August.

Lewisville (Texas) Hebron junior offensive lineman Zach Rogers – the nation's top 2015 center prospect according to Scout.com - suffered a torn ACL during a preseason scrimmage.

He had surgery on Sept. 10 and is ahead of schedule with his rehab.

North Little Rock (2-1), beaten only by national power South Panola of Batesville, Miss., is set to play Cabot this week.

"I know our guys will rally together and put forth their best effort for Juan and themselves," Bolding said. "And I know he will be right there cheering us on and doing whatever he can to help us the rest of the season."





Juan Day





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